Brexit: Seven thoughts on a second referendum

Former UKIP leader Nigel Farage suggested earlier he was coming round to the idea of a second EU referendum – what is usually going on?

The chances of a second poll

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Leave supporters celebrate victory in Sunderland

To paraphrase the old joke, there are probably two chances of a second EU referendum right today – slim chance along with fat chance. Ladbrokes is usually currently offering odds of 5/1 on the idea. At 11/8 the bookmakers think the idea is usually more likely in which no deal will have been agreed before Britain officially leaves the EU on 29 March 2019. Theresa May along with Jeremy Corbyn have ruled out a second vote, both essentially arguing in which the idea might be seen as a catastrophic breach of trust using a public already weary of broken promises.

An establishment stitch-up?

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PA

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“No” campaign celebrations were short-lived in Ireland

The idea in which the political establishment will just keep holding referendums until they get the result they want – or simply ignore the result if they don’t like the idea – was a constant refrain during the Brexit campaign. the idea has happened before, say Brexiteers.

France along with the Netherlands both rejected an EU constitution in 2005 referendums, which led to the document being repackaged along with adopted by both countries as the Lisbon Treaty.

Ireland then rejected the Lisbon Treaty in a 2008 referendum – the idea was the only EU country to hold such a vote – yet then accepted the idea in a second referendum the following year, following pressure coming from the rest of the EU.

yet sometimes the establishment gets the result the idea wants along with still has to face another vote.

The term “neverendum” was coined inside the French Canadian province of Quebec, which has twice voted against independence coming from Canada – once in 1980 by a majority of 59%. the second time, in 1995, by a shade over 50%. The prime ministers at the time of the two votes were pro-Canada. The independence campaign has never stopped pushing for a third vote.

Farage has said the idea before

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Media captionUKIP MEP Nigel Farage talking on The Wright Stuff chat show

The former UKIP leader has angrily denounced “Remoaners” like Tony Blair along with Sir John Major for suggesting the public should be given another vote.

“I think there are 17.4m people out there who voted Brexit despite being told the idea was the wrong thing to do along with I actually think the idea might be a big mistake if these people get pushed too far,” he said on his LBC radio show in November 2016.

Yet before the referendum, he freely admitted he might have kept pushing for another vote if his side lost by a narrow margin.

“In a 52-48 referendum in which might be unfinished business by a long way. If the remain campaign win two-thirds to one-third in which ends the idea,” he told the Daily Mirror.

There is usually a kind of consistency here – the former UKIP chief will not be satisfied until Brexit has been resoundingly backed by the people, to “finish the whole thing off”.

“the idea may well be in which Nigel might get what he wants which is usually a completely hard Brexit,” veteran Tory Eurosceptic Bill Cash told the BBC.

yet he added: “I do find his position quite unconvincing along with for him to be, as the idea were, bedfellows with the Liberal Democrats I think is usually one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen in British politics.”

Perhaps Mr Farage – along with one-time UKIP donor Arron Banks who also today backs a second referendum – are missing the spotlight along with fancy getting the Brexit band back together for one more tour.

He later clarified his remarks, saying a second referendum was the “last thing” he wanted to see yet the Leave side had to be ready for one, as Remainers claimed support for another vote was growing.

The opinion polls have not actually shifted

For all the sometimes wild claims coming from both sides, if a second referendum was held today there is usually no guarantee the outcome might be any different. Polling suggests Britons are becoming increasingly sceptical about the government’s handling of Brexit talks “yet Leave voters for the most part have not changed their minds about their decision”, pollster Sir John Curtice said in which week.

The democracy argument

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Getty Images

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Tony Blair says voters should be allowed to think again

yet – say Remainers like Tony Blair – why should the 2016 referendum be the final word? in which’s not how democracy works, they argue.

Mr Blair said in a BBC interview in which people should be given a chance to “think again” once they have seen the final exit deal.

He was a bit vague on how in which might happen, suggesting the idea could be via another referendum or a general election, although in which, he claimed, was a “second order” issue. Only the Liberal Democrats, with 12 MPs, are openly pushing for a second referendum.

When might a second referendum have to be held?

Britain leaves the EU in March 2019. The next scheduled general election is usually on 5 May 2022. the idea might take a change of Labour along with/or Tory leadership, not to mention a major policy shift, along with, in all likelihood, an early general election. So if there was to be another vote the idea might probably have to be held in which year or, at the very latest, early next year.

What might the question be?

The June 2016 question was simple: “Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?”

The next one, if the idea is usually ever posed, might be a bit more convoluted…

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