“No-Deal” must not be an option in a second referendum. If it is, Steve Bullock is ready to campaign against it.
If anyone fancies campaigning for a referendum in which No-Deal is an option, they can count on me campaigning against them, even if it meant no referendum at all.
So far, I have heard the following statements:
“It wouldn’t be fair otherwise.”
If people weren’t given the option to badly harm the lives of others here and in our neighbouring countries, break peace treaties, and undermine the stability of the Western Alliance...
“We would have to.”
No, we wouldn’t.
“But some people think No-Deal is the only real Brexit.”
They are factually wrong.
“But a large number of MPs want it.”
So what? A majority don’t. A large minority of MPs also want a Labour Government, but it doesn’t work like that.
“But it would be the only way to get the ERG on board for a People’s Vote.”
There are less than 100 ERG MPs. If getting them on board is the priority, we need a pretty serious strategy rethink!
“It was only being floated for discussion.”
Excellent, we ARE having that discussion NOW.
“People would feel it was illegitimate without the No-Deal option.”
That is not a good enough argument to risk people’s lives for.
“The consequences are overstated.”
Half the harm the independent consensus predicts. Half it again. It would still be awful.
“It would help remain split the Leave vote.”
Seriously? You think trying to rig the referendum would help get people on board with it? And you are sure enough it would even work to take that big a risk? I wouldn’t be for a second after the 2016 results.
“But it respects the 2016 vote.”
Quite the contrary. Nobody campaigned on the basis of No-Deal in 2016. All predicted a deal would be found, and be the basis of leaving the European Union.
“It would need a Hard Brexit option.”
Until 2018, Hard Brexit meant leaving the Single Market and Customs Union as well as the European Union. Theresa May’s Brexit is, ultimately, that as it plans for both in the medium-term. It is a hard Brexit.
Leave and the ERG intentionally shifted this meaning over time. Don’t buy into that.
Finally, we live in a representative democracy. It would be up to our elected MPs to decide what is on the ballot. There is no compulsion whatsoever to put something they know would be deeply harmful on it.
It’s their job to avert catastrophe, not ask people if they fancy it.🔷
No Deal was never argued for by the Leave campaign. Therefore a No Deal Brexit would not respect the result of the referendum. A Leave deal has been negotiated – the PM’s deal. In a confirmatory referendum, if a majority vote for that then we will leave. If not, we remain.— Hilary Benn (@hilarybennmp) April 27, 2019
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(This piece was first published as a Twitter thread and turned into the above article, with the author’s consent, with the purpose of reaching a larger audience. It has been minorly edited and corrected. | The author of the tweets writes in a personal capacity.)