A second British referendum?

To The Times
The headline of your leading article, that May’s deal is the “Least Bad Option”, is questionable. Many are deeply wary of a People’s Vote, not least because the decision by the previous prime minister to hold the referendum was made in an attempt to paper over the divisions in the Conservative Party. Two years have elapsed since that vote and people are now much better informed about the likely consequences of leaving the EU. Today citizens can see, as your article stated, that there is no Brexit that could ever meet the wild promises of the Leave campaign.

A People’s Vote would be decided by an electorate with a much better understanding of what Brexit might mean, and thus the result would be better respected. (Angus McNeilage, Blackham, East Sussex)

My reaction: It would be nice if Mr. McNeilage were correct, but the counter argument is that the pro-EU result of the new referendum would have to result in a massive Remain win, otherwise the Leavers would demand a third vote to decide the matter, and that is simply not workable.

Secondly, it isn’t clear that a decisive vote exists to remain. Those who voted to leave had other agendas than dissatisfaction with the EU itself. Most notably, regions far away from prosperous London are deeply angry about the mismanagement of the economy, the lack of jobs in the North, the cutting of services, the shrivelling of local government and the London-centric preoccupations of the political class. The ire is directed at the EU; the trouble stems from Tory misrule, constant cuts, lack of accountability, and of care for the population as a whole. I am not sure that a second referendum would produce the result I would personally prefer.

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