We’ve had the vote and it’s been ratified in parliament. A rerun would be untenable—and risky for both businesses and the public sectorby Diane James MEP / January 11, 2018 / Leave a comment
My erstwhile colleague, Nigel Farage MEP, has said that he could possibly consider supporting a second EU membership referendum to ‘kill off’ the Remain campaign for a generation. Notwithstanding the poor choice of words, I believe that Nigel is wrong—a second referendum is not appropriate.
Firstly, UK democracy, like it or not, works on a winner take all basis. All spoils to the winner and nothing for the runner-up.
For example, in the 2017 General Election, Stephen Gethin won the constituency of North East Fife by just 2 votes. He took the seat at Westminster and the runner up, Elizabeth Riches of the Liberal Democrats, took away nothing—even though Gethin only secured 33 per cent of the vote, which was a mere 23.4 per cent of the electorate.
That is how UK democracy works. The following day could have brought about a different result, but that is irrelevant: on the day, he secured more votes than any of the other candidates and became MP.
The Referendum was exactly the same: a binary choice, and the side with the most votes took the prize.
There is another example worth noting. In 1975, only 43.6 per cent of the electorate voted for us to confirm our membership of the then EEC.
A binding vote
There have been accusations from the Remain side that the June 2016 referendum was advisory and that, therefore, the result should not stand.
Yet while it is true the vote was advisory, its result was ratified in Parliament and so the result should stand (as was promised by David Cameron).
There have also been concerns that the Northern Irish, Scots, and Welsh should have had a veto—that a super majority should have been required—and that we should have known what post-Brexit would look like.
All of these points were discussed at the European Select Committee, and all were rejected by the pro-Remain Government.
In other words, the rules of engagement were set by David Cameron—who wanted us to stay in the EU. He refused these requests, and the Leave camp simply played by the rules we were given.
The electorate’s choice
There have been claims that the Leave campaign lied to the electorate, with a particular…