I voted to remain in the European Union and the proposed Peoples Vote terrifies me. Once again the elite believe they can tell the masses what’s best for them despite all the evidence against this. In 2016 Donald Trump was never going to be President, Remain was going to win comfortably, and Labours rise in the polls in the last election was impossible. In 2019 we know none of that was the case, and I cannot understand why the Peoples Vote campaign are so sure that this time the inaccurate pollsters are right.
I live in an area that currently has a UKIP councilor and overwhelmingly voted to leave the EU despite our reliance on Toyota, Roll Royce, and Bombardier for employment. These companies rely on trade deals with the EU and quick transportation of goods around Europe Brexit threatens to stop this ease of movement and risks these companies leaving the UK and taking thousands of jobs with them. When BBC’s Question time visited Derby the audience were pro-leave as are most people I speak to. The notion that economic downfall, risks of millions of jobs, and ¾ fewer imports have led to Leave supporters changing their mind isn’t true. People do not believe experts it does not matter if the owner of a company says they will leave the people believe they know better. Tune into LBC’s James O’Brien show any day of the week and you will hear this whether its politicians or citizens. I cannot think of anything worse than a No-deal Brexit but a Peoples Vote will lead to just that by providing the ERG with a mandate to push ahead at all costs.
Rewind to 2016 when the Remain camp were sure a victory for them was on the cards, they had facts on their side and still do but the anti-expert mentality has not dwindled, and anti-EU sentiments have grown after two years of a misleading media yet again blaming the EU for our government’s ineptness. Listening to Leave voters both in person and in the media it is clear they either do not believe or care about the repercussions of a hard Brexit. They want to leave consequences be damned. If a second referendum is called Leave will win and we will be dragged into a catastrophic No-deal. Lessons have not been learned from the previous campaign the Remain camp would continue to point to the negative repercussions of leaving the EU without addressing the strong misconceptions of the British public and clear necessity for reform. Instead, those calling for a Peoples Vote chastise those who voted leave and in their infinite wisdom believe that given another chance everyone will make the decision they want them to. They won’t.
Yes, polling suggests remain would win as they did last time but like in 2016 with both Brexit and Trump these polls are not reliable. Many non-voters turned out to vote in the last referendum people who did not exist to these polls who ask voters what they expect to vote for turned out in their thousands. These people are not generally involved in politics and are therefore ignored in projections. This is as big a mistake as it was three years ago these people exist and they are passionate in their misguided quest to leave the EU. Their votes are guaranteed the Remain sides are not. There appears to be a growing apathy amongst those who are on the side of status quo primarily because it is hard to be passionate about an institution that does not work but is much better than nothing.
The People’s Vote movement comes from the centrist section of the Labour Party and appears to exist largely to undermine the official party stance. Chuka Umunna one of the leaders of the campaign has tried to do this on multiple issues since Jeremy Corbyn took office ignoring the two leadership elections Corbyn won comfortably against the centrist wing of the party. Without left-wing politicians who offer more than the status quo campaigning and debating the large personalities of the Leave campaign will dominate the debate again.
I hope the Cooper amendment which calls for a vote to block No-deal and a vote on an extension if there is no deal by the 13th March passes next week. It seems obvious the government will not have a deal in place by then in which case the Labour Party should be united in calling for a General Election to allow them an opportunity to not only negotiate a better Brexit scenario but begin to fix the mess Austerity policies have left us in. Instead of playing party politics and attempting to progress personal careers the Labour party should unite against the Conservatives who seem content to allow the clock to tick to No-deal.
A No-deal Brexit will be a literal nightmare that’s why the government are organising soldiers to police our streets if we leave on these terms. Those politicians who tell us everything will be fine with a no deal are the same arranging marshal law to quell the inevitable protests and potential riots when people realise the supermarkets are rationing their food and they can no longer receive the medicine they need. A peoples vote is the worst idea imaginable if the aim is to stop a no-deal Brexit. We need a General Election, an extension of Article 50, and a government who can actually negotiate and pass a deal which as we saw last week the Labour leadership are ready to do.