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A Second Referendum

Girl looking at airport board with UK and EU flags

On 23 June 2016, the UK electorate voted to leave the European Union. The reasons for leaving were numerous, including questionable immigration policies, concerns over Brussels micromanaging UK affairs, and doubts about whether remaining in the EU was in the best economic interests of the UK.

The frustration of UK citizens with the government’s inability to negotiate viable terms for leaving the European Union is clear, and many are calling for a second Brexit referendum to break the parliamentary deadlock.

The chances of a Second Referendum

The EU has repeatedly making clarified that the Brexit deal put forward by former Prime Minister Theresa May cannot be renegotiated. With the UK’s two main political parties – the Conservatives and the Labour Party – having poor polling figures, it is unlikely that either will call for a general election. This is why a second referendum, a so-called people's vote, could be the only solution there is to the Brexit crisis, according to the Liberal Democrats.

Yet, since 2016, MPs have repeatedly voted in support of the referendum result, in the name of implementing a decision taken by a majority of the electorate. In the general election of June 2017, Conservative and Labour parties both committed themselves in their manifestos to implementing the referendum result. To endorse a second referendum, past Brexit legislation would need to be repealed, going against the positions adopted by the Conservative and Labour parties in the 2017 general election.

Jeremy Corbyn, already warned that Labour Party supporters are deserting him over his failure to wholeheartedly back a second referendum, insists that now is not the time for Labour to back a second referendum, preferring to push instead for a general election.

MPs are calling for a second referendum now because it absolves them of all responsibility, placing it all back on the public. Yet a second referendum would be a blow to the heart of our parliamentary democracy. It would introduce an elitist principle that the legitimacy of a political decision rests upon a judgment about the knowledge that informed it. It could also give the same result three years ago.

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Brexit

Advantages

The three advantages to Brexit form a political and economic standpoint includes the decentralising of European political power. Began as a customs union, the EU broke trade barriers between nations after the second world war. One the customs union was consolidated, political ambitions saw the EU become a bully government in Brussels, where the well-connected were well compensated. The move from a federalist model to a centralised political, economic and financial superpower has created an unnecessary monster that does not allow national sovereignty from states big and small.

Brexit will allow UK citizens to live in a country where people are free to make mistakes, rather than a country where faceless officials decide on the choices available.

The UK prides itself on federalism, free speech, and property rights. The EU wants centralisation as part of its universal vision. Article 13 of the EU Copyright Directive has raised concerns that it is against free speech. Under Article 13, the ability to share content with any copyrighted material is in jeopardy. The UK may wish to leave the EU to maintain free speech.

It has been argued that the EU is slowly becoming less of a trade priority for Britain. IN 2017, about 44 per cent of UK exports when to EU member countries. The world’s economy is also growing faster than the EU’s economy, which partially explains why UK trade outside the EU has grown faster recently. By offering zero tariffs and import quotas goods coming from EU countries and the rest of the world into the UK could create trade deals with Commonwealth countries in which it could thrive.

Disadvantages

Once a Brexit agreement is signed, the Confederation of British Industry predicts the economic damage could cause 950,000 jobs to be lost in the UK, and the Trades Union Congress says the average wage would fall by GBP38 a week.

The Governor of the Bank of England has agreed with claims that Brexit would lead to an economic shock – or recession – which would mean dramatic public spending cuts, job losses and years of financial insecurity. The value of the British pound will fall, leading to a rise in the cost of living, including food and mortgage, with the value of homes and pensions are predicted to fall.

Why Britain should Stay in the EU

The EU offers jobs and opportunities by being able to trade freely across 28 member states, which helps the UK to grow business and create jobs for further opportunities as well as financial security.

In the UK at the moment, about three million jobs are linked to EU trade, that is one in every 10 jobs and the chance of another 790,000 UK jobs by 2030. The freedom to travel means that it is possible to work, holiday and retire without needing a visa. This includes study abroad on an Erasmus programme that has opening up opportunities for young students, setting them up for life.

With no trade tariffs, goods and services are cheaper, leaving extra earnings to save for additional financial security.

While the UK pays billions each year to be a member of the EU Single Market, the benefit of being in the EU is worth many times more to the UK economy.

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