“Brexit is the will of the British people.” Oh, really?

“Brexit is the will of the British people.” Oh, really? This Mantra is grossly misleading.

The facts are that of those who voted, 51.9% voted for Brexit and 48.1% voted for Remain. However only 37% of the 46 million registered electorate voted for Brexit. Brexit is not the will of the British people – it never has been.  Young people will be most affected by the outcomes of Brexit. Yet 16 to 17 year olds, a large numbers of whom were in favour of Remain, were not eligible to vote.

The UK as a whole is deeply divided on the issue, Scotland and other different parts of the UK being strongly in favour of Remain – See the New Economics Foundation’s report for more details.

The referendum process was flawed. Much more time was needed. Many argue that a referendum was inappropriate for such a complex issue. Some senior politicians and newspapers were irresponsible and made false claims. The Electoral Reform Society exposes its flaws and their report puts forward proposals for future referendums.

Now that people are far better informed about the economic consequences of our withdrawing from the EU, many of those who voted for Brexit would now not do so. Economist Iain Begg, from the London School of Economics, said the results exposed the shortcomings of using referenda in complex policy choices. “The finding that a sizeable proportion of Leave voters now regret their decision, coming barely one hundred days after June 23, highlights the shortcomings of using referenda to make policy choices on issues as complex as membership of the EU,” he told The Independent.

Another post by Adrian Low reveals that “only two YouGov polls support a majority in favour of Leave was right, the other eleven polls have all indicated that the will of the UK is that it should remain in the EU. Such unpalatable poll results have been left unreported or occasionally inaccurately reported.”

The Mantra “Brexit is the will of the British people” needs to be challenged by the British people. Parliament must have the final say and another referendum may be needed.  Citizens Conventions which help people become better informed, listen to others and then make up their minds, can make a valuable contribution to resolving this issue.

Bruce Nixon is an author, writer and speaker. He gives participative talks in communities, universities schools and at conferences. His most recent book is The 21st Century Revolution – A Call to Greatness   http://www.brucenixon.com/21stCenturyRevolution.html

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