The independent London newspaper

A second referendum will not bring unity

10 May, 2019

• THE campaign for a second referendum has intensified following the local elections.

Lib Democrats picked up results. Why? Because people who usually vote Labour or Tory are dissatisfied with their failure to deliver Brexit, and they felt, on principle, they should vote for one of the parties on the ballot paper.

The Lib Dems have tried to block the democratic result to leave the European Union. They have previous form of betraying their own supporters, by keeping a Tory government in power.

As one of their supporters said to Nick Clegg, “I didn’t vote Lib Dem to keep a Tory government in power and I’ll never vote Lib Dem again”.

And voters will remember that Vince Cable played a key role in that coalition, including privatising one of our much-loved government-run services.

Labour is under pressure to come out in favour of a second referendum. Whichever way Labour goes – leave or remain – it will lose some support.

But surely the way for Labour to go on this, is for democracy and principles, and to abide by the vote to leave at the 2016 referendum. As Labour’s campaign chief Andrew Gwynne pointed out, the talk of another referendum was difficult to explain to many traditional voters.

The 21 councils in which Labour lost five seats or more were in heavily-voting leave areas. A second referendum will entail a further year of frustration, anger and uncertainty. It will not unite the Labour Party or the country.

We must agree a deal to leave the EU, implement it, and move on to deal with the major issues facing the UK.



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