Now that Parliament has the right to vote on the final deal, it is very likely that the Conservative government will support a public referendum on the deal, as they will loose a vote in House of Commons.
The facts are such:
- Government’s technical House of Commons majority: 13
- Rebel MPs needed to block the majority: 7
- Votes lost by the government since June: 11
- Theresa May’s pre-referendum position: Remain
- Remain opinion poll lead since referendum: 2%-8%
- Total Remain MPs in Conservative government: 176 of 317
- Total hardline “Leave Means Leave” MPs in Conservative government: 50 of 317
(Source: Pantheon Macroeconomics)
So unless over 100 Conservative MPs who voted remain, change their minds and the Labour party continues not to reflect the views of its members – and only 4.2 per cent of Labour members said they definitely believed Britain should leave. (Source: Economic and Social Research Council) – then we will not leave the European Union.
So everyone needs to stand up and say ‘stop Article 50’.
But a further referendum may still not support Remain unless the government of the day is actually seen to be doing something to increase opportunity for everyone to lead a full and purposeful life. This means a radical set of policies that actually address well being, increasing income for lower earners, creating more and better jobs, boosting economic growth and harnessing the wealth that we have all helped create to invest it in housing, health, education and infrastructure.
These are not extreme partisan policies. The current political parties propose piecemeal interventions and don’t get to the root of the problem. What is needed is a radical policies that benefit the vast majority of the electorate, those in the centre, not the extremes.
We have no time to lose.
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Paul Gregory says
The root of the problem is Unrepresentative democracy made incarnate in the Rotten Parliament. Only when all the electorate (rather than swing voters in selected constituencies) have a reasonably precise choice can parliament return to ethical legitimacy. Referenda may be undesirable as such, but they become necessary when the political class fails, decade after decade, to reform itself. Political parties systematically distort voter choices. Whereas the filtering function to separate ill-conceived, poorly informed policies from their opposite could formerly only be performed by parties, in the 21st century we can move on. Everywhere and everyone indeed, in industry and society, has moved on except the political establishment. Both first-past-the-post and proportional representation depend on the premise that parties know best. They do not. Institutions that fail to regenerate themselves eventually die and must be replaced by new ones, always observing the principles of separation of powers and checks & balances.
The medium-term goal must be a mechanism of multiply transferable power of political attorney or “fuzzy democracy” Every vote counts, if not directly then by proxy; one votes for the best candidate one can identify, never the least bad. See different presentations at http://www.fuzzydemocracy.eu .
Deep democracy means enabling the voice of reasoned debate to win through, not merely allowing discussion and then ignoring the outcome of the discussion (example HS2). Deep democracy is self-correcting.
As soon as the EU adopts fuzzy democracy and disallows parties, I shall become a remainer.