Jack of Kent (the blog of legal expert and Brexit commentator, David Allen Green) posted this today – after the weekend of the biggest protest against leaving the EU without a second referendum. He doesn’t think it can or should happen and, to my mind, his argument makes sense. This is how he sums up:
So overall: there is not enough time for a referendum, the constitutional opportunities for checking (or slowing) Brexit have already come and gone, there will be no way to choose between competing mandates, the whole thing will be divisive, and it may not get the result its supporters want anyway.
This is not to say that those opposed to departure should give up. They should carry on opposing with all their might until the very last moment, using any legal or political weapon available. There is nothing wrong with that.
I would love this Brexit story to have the happy ending so many of you want, with the #PeoplesVote saving the day. Sadly, however, this is likely to be a Brexit by Quentin Tarantino, and not by Walt Disney.
I like Green because he speaks from a world of order and process when so much of our political life seems to have descended into abuse and ignorance.
My own perspective is that, while leaving the EU is going to be awful, undoing the first referendum before we leave – even if it were possible – would resolve nothing.
On 23 June 2016, like Humpty Dumpty, we fell off our wall. All the cracks and crazing that has disfigured our country for generations – the inequality, the short-termisim and greed, the desperate failure of politics – trapping us beyond nuance and representation in false oppositions – the weakness of our institutions, the poison of our public realm – all burst apart at once.
We are smashed now. The past is irretrievable. The only hope is to start some sober and realistic conversations about the future – if there is any medium or institution left to us where a thoughtful and open debate could be held.