Cabinet Talk of a Second Brexit Referendum!
And the first cabinet minister emerges with a tentative push at testing the temperature of the second EU referendum water.
The work and pension secretary, Amber Rudd, told ITV that a second referendum would be a ‘plausible’ route to take if the deadlock in parliament over Brexit remained.
And she did, of course, insert the obligatory ‘I-don’t-really-want-another-referendum’ type statement into it as well.
Now the avenues that Remainers can use to reverse Brexit have narrowed right down and, with 99 days to go to Brexit Day, time is not on their side. So I don’t think Amber Rudd will be the last to say that we really, really don’t want to do this, but we have no choice so we’re going to have to impose another EU referendum on the long-suffering people of the UK.
“It’s being forced on us!” Our politicians will wail.
I would expect to see this move gain traction quite quickly in Westminster as they see Theresa May’s deal collapse in the so-called meaningful vote and as the ‘Project-Terrify-The-People-out-of-WTO’ intensifies as never before.
Well I say intensify, what I really mean is old discredited claims of Brexit Armageddon, or Brexageddon, will just be regurgitated and repeated more quickly and at an ever greater volume.
Then will come the discussions about how they get it done.
Would it be a rush job before the 29th March and hope to get a proper meaningful result?
Probably not, even agreeing the question would take weeks. Therefore then, on to the question of how to buy more time.
Only two options there:
Extend Article 50, or revoke Article 50 completely. And with recent EU intransigence there really is only the unilateral revocation option open to them.
In fact the EU27 may decide to refuse an extension to Article 50 in order to force our politicians into making this decision. After all it would be tantamount to an act of surrender by the UK to the might of the EU! And the Eurocrats would endlessly crow about it and empty the Brussels wine cellars of Champagne, while UK Remainers would be leaping for joy at their minority movement beating the majority.
So the UK political classes would have to get the Establishment spin machine turning at its fastest ever speeds to try and convince us all that, although it completely reverses Brexit, it will only be somehow temporary and will somehow respect the 2016 referendum result … somehow.
Then, if they can justify it in their own Westminster bubble minds, they would revoke Article 50 and Brexit would be completely reversed.
I would then expect to hear phrase like: ‘we must pause and think’, ‘we need time to heal the nation’, ‘we must review legislation to make sure the next referendum is completely fair’, ‘we must concentrate on long neglected domestic issues for the next parliamentary year’, and of course ‘the NHS has suffered while we have concentrated on Brexit, we have much to fix there’ etc etc etc – all designed to slow any remaining referendum progress to a mere glacial pace. Then it will be ‘we don’t really want to do all that again do we?’ And all because they don’t trust us to give the right answer the next time, do they?
This must not be allowed to happen as it would make a mockery of our claim to be democracy.