A Different 2nd Referendum?

A petition calling for a re-run of the EU referendum has attracted more than 2 million signatures. I have read anecdotal accounts of people who voted Leave and now regret having done so. Some apparently did not realise how important the referendum might be, and may have got a shock when the result caused the pound to drop dramatically against other currencies. Others expected Remain to win, and thought they could safely vote Leave to stick two fingers up to Cameron. By now, some are perhaps realising just how dishonest the Leave campaign was; Farage has dissociated himself from the claim that Brexit would mean an extra £100m a week for the NHS.

Could a second referendum happen? The referendum is not legally binding, and Leave did win by quite a small margin. If a significant number of Leave voters have indeed changed their minds, it could well be that a new referendum would result in a win for Remain. Apparently a majority of MPs are opposed to a Brexit, and so the idea of overturning the Leave vote must be tempting. Another referendum may seem unlikely, but it is not impossible. Of course, a second referendum would have Farage screaming foul, but it was Farage who earlier said that he would not accept a 52% to 48% win by Remain as final.

In the comments on an article on Slashdot (https://tech.slashdot.org/story/16/06/24/1723201/in-the-aftermath-of-brexit-brits-google-about-irish-passport-meaning-of-eu-and-why-it-all-happened) I found the following:

There was a fair bit of buyer’s remorse around our (mostly pro-remain) offices in Manchester today, with only a handful prepared to stand by their “Leave” vote, even before management confirmed that one entire engineering department – about 600 employees, or 10% of our UK workforce – was going to be wound up because EU regulations require that the work be done by staff located within an EU member state, and the bulk of their work was coming from the EU. As you can imagine, the atmosphere in the office went downhill pretty sharpish after that…

As such consequences of Brexit become more apparent, opinion polls may show declining support for it. Could Cameron try to avoid going down in history as the Prime Minister who wrecked the UK by getting Parliament to pass emergency legislation requiring a second referendum before the UK can give notice to the EU? Could MPs throw a spanner in the works by voting for a General Election? What will opportunistic Boris do? If the UK delays Brexit, will the other EU countries lose patience and try to kick the UK out of the EU?

Probably Brexit will happen…..but who knows for sure?


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