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Theresa May’s Brexit deal contains little to please brexiteers or remainers. Should the government go back to the people for a second referendum on Brexit?

Positions

Arguments supporting this position

Details

Context

Brexiteers hoped that once the majority of the British public voted for Brexit, it would settle the issue once and for all. They imagined that the referendum would heal divisions and unite the country under the Brexit banner, granting the government the freedom to negotiate the terms of Brexit secure in the knowledge that they had the backing of the British people. However, this was far from what happened. The referendum sowed more division among the public and created more questions than it answered. The British people and political landscape are now more divided than ever, with infighting over Brexit plaguing both major political parties.

The Argument

If the people voted for Brexit a second time, it would show beyond any doubt that the public wants to leave the EU. This would silence remainers once and for all.

Counter arguments

There is no guarantee a second referendum would heal divisions. If the public votes to remain in the EU, which polls indicate it will do, then that would mean there has been one vote to remain and one to leave. This would only fuel uncertainty and division. Instead of silencing remainers, it would empower them. In that case, where would it end? Would we have a best of three referenda? Or would Brexit turn into a tennis match with a best of five series?

Premises

The Brexit referendum was not the last word on the subject. If Britain has another one, the public will be forced to accept this vote as final and accept the result.

Rejecting the premises

The first vote did not heal divisions. There is nothing to suggest a second vote would either.

References

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This page was last edited on Tuesday, 11 Dec 2018 at 20:50 UTC