Tony Blair, on the Andrew Neil show, recently argued for a second referendum rather than a general election on the basis that “If Brexit is the problem, and Brexit is the question, go back to the people on Brexit”
This is utter nonsense. The people have already given their answer on Brexit – they voted to leave the European Union. As Andrew Neil pointed out, the fact that the current Parliament finds itself unable to agree on how to implement that decision, doesn’t mean we need to ask the question again – it means we need a new Parliament who CAN get on with the job and get it done.
It’s really simple, Tony. If you go to a solicitor and ask him to negotiate your divorce, you don’t expect him to come back to you three years later and say “You know what, the other side have really been playing hardball and we just can’t come to an agreement, so would you like to have another think about whether you really do want a divorce? Would it not just be easier to stay married?” No – you fire that useless solicitor and find one who can do the job!
Brexit is NOT the problem. The choice on the referendum ballot was simple – did the British people want to remain in the European Union, or leave the European Union? And the British people voted to Leave. The problem is that Parliament, having voted overwhelmingly (by 544 to 53 votes) in favour of giving the decision to the people via a referendum, subsequently decided they weren’t happy with the decision the people gave, and so instead have spent the past three years using every possible twist of logic to try to either cancel Brexit entirely, or try to find some way of staying in the key EU institutions, the single market and the customs union, while pretending that this would still amount to leaving.
We don’t need the people to be given another vote on Brexit – we need Parliament to act on the vote that was already given. If every MP in Parliament simply set aside their own personal opinions, and instead voted according to the wishes of their constituents, as expressed in the 2016 referendum, we would have left by now, given that 69% of MPs represent constituencies that voted Leave. As long as the current crop of MPs remain unwilling to enact the wishes of their constituents, it is not a new referendum we need, but a general election, to give the public a chance to elect a set of MPs who do recognise that their job is to serve the interests of their constituents, rather than their own.
MPs and ex-politicians such as Blair can argue all they like that their reasons for blocking a general election are pure, but the public are not fools – these are, to paraphrase Geoffrey Cox, turkeys trying to prevent Christmas, and there is only so long they can hold off the inevitable. The longer they postpone, the greater will be the eventual reckoning – they would do well to realise that.