Friday, September 30, 2016

About a Second EU Referendum

It's fair to say I'm not keen on the idea of Brexit, and it's also fair to say that I would support having a second EU referendum if there is a material change in circumstances. 'Cos, you know, I'd rather not go.

However, what I can't support is the lunatic suggestion, put forward by the Lib Dems and now by Labour, that we should have a referendum on the Brexit deal.

The problem with having such a referendum is one of timing: there obviously can't be a deal until we've negotiated, and we can't have formal negotiations until Article 50 has been triggered. The issue with that is that once Article 50 is triggered, there's no mechanism for us to take it back - two years after it's done, the UK will leave the EU.

I think the Lib Dems and Labour envisage the people being given a choice between accepting the (inevitably bad) deal or staying in the EU, and the people therefore rejecting the (inevitably bad) deal and opting to stay. But the choice that will actually be on offer will be between accepting the (inevitably bad) deal or leaving the EU with no deal in place. And faced with that choice, it's likely that the people will opt to reject the (inevitably bad) deal, and so end up with the only thing that is worse.

Great work, you guys!

To be honest, I'm not sure I'm surprised at the level of incompetence being put on show here. After all, it's hardly reasonable to expect senior pro-EU politicians to know how key bits of EU treaties work, is it?

On the other hand, it's rather distressing to think that the Tories are an utter shambles on the topic of Brexit, and about to drive the country off a cliff, and they're still more competent than the alternative.

#51: "Spelljammer: The Maelstrom's Eye", by Roger E. Moore
#52: "Software Systems Architecture", by Nick Rozanski and Eoin Woods
#53: "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child", by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany, and Jack Thorne

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