Readers' view: The Independent's campaign for a Final Say referendum on Brexit

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Thursday 02 August 2018 09:41
Chuka Umunna and John Rentoul debate the possibility of another Brexit referendum

These letters are in response to Final Say, our campaign launched last night for a referendum on the Brexit deal. You can sign the petition here.

Thank you to James Moore for his excellent comment piece challenging the PM on NHS supplies in the case of a “No deal” Brexit. As a parent of a son with lukemia and daughter with Type 1 Diabetes perhaps he could pick me up some supplies on his trip to the States.

I have both friends and family who voted to leave in the referendum. Never in a million years would they have believed that they were voting potentially for my children to not receive the medicine that keeps them alive. I would ask anyone who is sceptical of the idea of a “people’s vote” to consider the situation my family and thousands of others could be in if we do crash out of the EU. Then I would ask them to back the Final Say campaign your paper is running.

This is more important than a bit of Union Jack waving patriotism. It is about the health and wellbeing of British citizens. Now the facts are becoming clearer the people should get the Final Say.

James Shepherd

Dominic Grieve (Voices) and many others rightly note how the referendum has bedevilled politics for no one can truly claim that the Leave result determined the subsequent EU/UK relationship. We should ask, then, why did Conservative candidates in Cameron’s 2015 election stand on the commitment to call such a referendum?

Those who did so, unable to grasp the chaos if Leave won, should apologise for their incompetence. Those who did so to win votes should display contrition – and stop pretending they act in the national interest. And those Remainers who did so, confident that they would win the referendum, should be ashamed of themselves for their arrogance. No doubt, there are some who did so, believing that, if a Conservative government got elected, Cameron would think of some wheeze to avoid holding the referendum; well, they should come clean and own up to their dishonesty.

Is it not depressing that, despite the vast number of speeches, articles and interviews on all this over two years, very, very few Conservative MPs (if any?) have shown any guilt at having supported Cameron’s commitment to the referendum?

Peter Cave
London W1

The Independent’s campaign for a referendum on the outcome of the Brexit negotiations is welcome though long overdue. We must hope that it is successful in allowing the voice of the electorate to be heard. The referendum should though be extended to allow those British citizens living abroad – particularly those in other EU countries – to vote.

As with the Scottish referendum and the recent recommendations of the Welsh Electoral commission 16 and 17 year olds should also be included. This would negate any direct comparison with the 2016 referendum.

Andrew Erskine

The cold hard logic that Alastair Campbell believes will drive May to order a second referendum is already clear: her “Brexit in name only” is likely to drive hardened Tory Brexit supporters to desert the party for Ukip; a Hard Brexit and the ensuing economic chaos that even Brexiteers are now acknowledging will happen, will mean the younger working generations also abandon the Tories (perhaps even for the fifty years Rees-Moog says it may take for the outcome to be clear).

Either way, prospects for the party are dire, and the only way out may be to avoid blame for either outcome by putting the decision back to the people. I suspect a majority of Tory MPs may come to take this view, but whether they can get a majority for it in parliament is another matter.

Adrian Cosker

I cannot support your call for a second vote on EU membership for a number of reasons;

Parliament agreed to hold the vote in 2016 which clearly gave the choice to the electorate to leave or remain with a clear commitment to honour the result.

We are told that leaving without a deal would not command a majority in parliament so MPs can and should prevent this happening, perhaps by instructing the Government to request to extend the Article 50 process which the EU would certainly do. This would allow time for an acceptable deal to emerge.

A second vote would not bring the country together. Another Leave vote would not satisfy bitter Remainers and a vote to stay would anger and disgust the majority who voted to leave in the belief that is what would happen if they won.

The fact that the government is making a pig’s ear of negotiations is a reason to change the government, not the decision to leave.

Alan Brown

Thank you so much for your campaign for a Final Say, which is an oasis of calm in the insanity of current political debate around Brexit.

I wholeheartedly agree that this is the only course of action that can bring British people together – to the extent that is possible. Let us hope that the leaders of our main political parties can see sense and get behind this strategy.

James Barrett
Address supplied

I fully support The Independent’s initiative in favour of another referendum, for all the reasons stated. But I am saddened by the apparent focus of most arguments on “deal or no deal”.

Clearly economic considerations are important, but I would dearly love to hear more emphasis on the benefits of trading with people who share our values, the consequent effects on maintenance of peace and security and the advantages of being a part of a grouping that is capable of tackling and leading on the kinds of large global issues which are just too big for individual countries to address alone.

This is not just about what we do or don’t get out of the EU. It is also about demonstrating that we are a highly developed democracy with a sense of responsibility as global citizens.

Geoff Dodds

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