In a two horse race you can expect the organiser to plan for either side winning. There were no political party plans for the Brexit vote because the politicians felt it was like turkeys voting for Christmas. Scotland has rightly suggested a legal challenge.. (Simon Johnson in The Telegraph 26th June 2016: Nicola Sturgeon threatens to block Brexit in face of English fury ).
Another referendum (BBC: results in maps and charts) will only bring up more lies, rumours and allegations. It will not settle anything. NHSreality believes that the UK needs a new law allowing a quick general election and a clear choice between a “remain” and a “brexit” party. The Liberals are in a good position to lead the remain party. Many new members are currently joining the Liberals ( David Millward in The Telegraph 2th June 2016: Liberal Democrats will fight next election with pledge to scrap Brexit ) . It is interesting that Wales and Scotland voted opposite directions even thought they are both recipients of similar EU largesse. Does this tell us something about the relative educational levels of the two countries, or is it that they are led differently by their media and politicians? It is noteworthy that, if the age of voters was given a weighting related to their youth, (or adversely against life expectancy) the vote would have gone the other way…
It will take 6 months to push through legislation an fix a date for the new election. So during that time interest rates may rise, and the fossilisation of investment and decision making will bring home the reality of fewer jobs and a weaker pound. Matthew Paris is right in writing “Pity voters deceived by the Pied Pipers of Brexit” – Many MPs believe that leaving would be a calamity for Britain and will be tempted to thwart the referendum result
There is a crisis elsewhere which has been ignored during the Brexit debate. In the Guardian Sarah Whitehead reports 25th June: The other NHS crisis: the overworked nurses who are leaving in despair
The junior doctors’ dispute may be nearly over, but another crisis is brewing in the nursing profession, where staff shortages, a lack of recruitment and funding cuts have left many feeling they cannot carry on in the job they love
The crisis in leadership, throughout the country and in all the main parties is evident. BBC News today reports: Brexit: ‘Half’ of Labour top team set to resign, and David Cameron has shown a lack of judgement in giving the uninformed the right to change the constitution and break up the UK. His resignation speech: (The Telegraph 24th June 2016)
As far as the Health Services are concerned The Guardian’s Ben Quinn comments “Leave campaign rows back on key immigration and NHS pledges”
Tory MEP Daniel Hannan says Brexit voters will be ‘disappointed’ if they think there will now be zero immigration from EU
The lack of honesty has been part of the process by which the body politic has shown two fingers to the politicians. The remain party should be honest about the need to ration health care, and the welfare state, and in general to encourage autonomy.
The two authors of NHSreality have voted differently. One voted remain and wonders if he missed something which all the exciters see, and the other voted brexit, but is now fearful he has made the wrong choice. An interesting twitter from Kai Pflughaupt reads:
In general we are doing a good job in shooting ourselves in the foot.
You don’t let te troops have a vote on whether they go to war or attack or retreat…
Update 29th June: Times letters:
Sir, Jeremy Hunt’s proposal that there should be a second referendum on the terms on which Britain would leave the EU is a shrewd and sensible way of potentially uniting Leave and Remain supporters; it would allow the British electorate to understand clearly what is in prospect. Throughout the campaign the most common complaint heard was that people just did not understand the issues.
Before voting for a second time, the British people should expect clear answers to the following questions on the economy and immigration. Does the government want Britain to remain in the single market, and if so what is the likely cost to the taxpayer? Will the government be applying to join the European Economic Area and how much will that cost? If the answer to both these questions is in the negative, what will be the cost to British industry of paying the common external tariff (CET) on British exports to the EU? Will the government be imposing tariffs on goods coming from the EU into the UK, equal to the CET? On immigration, what is the government’s position in respect of EU citizens currently resident in the UK, and what is its policy in respect of new immigration from the EU?
The government must also explain that the two issues are interconnected: that on past precedents access to the single market also involves accepting the free movement of people.
Minister for Europe 2006-07
Sir, The French presidential system provides for a two-stage vote, the first allowing the heart to express itself and the second to allow the head to do so in the light of the heart’s vote.
Giving the British people the chance to think again is not to express distrust, but the belief that they can in truth do better. The decree nisi does not render the decree absolute inevitable.
Timothy Young, QC
Sir, There is widespread concern that the Brexit side made untrue claims during the referendum campaign about the cost of EU membership and immigration. So narrow is the margin of the result that voters may have been persuaded to vote to leave on the basis of dishonest information. The British electorate deserves an immediate public inquiry into these claims. If true, a second referendum must be held before December. A proper independent body must oversee all information provided to the electorate, outlawing untruths and innuendo. The EU would have an opportunity to offer a cap on immigration and other concessions.
A second referendum, if dishonesty is proven, will not undermine democracy but will underpin it.
Sir Anthony Seldon
Vice-chancellor, University of Buckingham
Sir, In certain financial decisions involving, for example, insurance or annuity purchase, there is usually a cooling-off period to allow further reflection before the decision becomes binding. The people of Britain should surely be allowed a similar period to reconsider a decision of such monumental impact, and a second referendum would either confirm the initial decision or give an opportunity to reconsider.
Sir, If a surgeon performed an operation on a patient without fully informed consent, knowingly used inaccurate data about the likely outcome, and then had no idea how to proceed after the initial incision, they would be struck off the medical register and not allowed to practise further. Isn’t it time politicians too were held properly accountable for their individual actions?
Emeritus professor of medicine, Sheffield
Sir, Your leader “Boris in Denial” (June 28) rightly took Brexit’s frontman to task over his fanciful assertion that immigration wasn’t the driving force behind Leave’s victory. You were also right to say that “the country needs a plan”. That raises the fundamental question of whether, for all his charisma, Boris Johnson really can be the man with the serious plan for the UK’s future. Meanwhile, evidence is growing that not insignificant numbers of Brexit voters are beginning to switch horses to “Regrexit”, including the veteran EU-baiter Kelvin MacKenzie.
The increasing clamour for the referendum to be re-run makes no sense. But what does begin to do so is for an early general election in which whether to push ahead with Brexit or abort it becomes a key dynamic of all parties’ manifestos.
Editor, Sunday Mirror, 1994-95
Sir, May I add to Sonia Purnell’s critical assessment (June 27) of Boris Johnson the following legacies from his period as mayor of London: new Routemaster buses that run almost entirely on diesel because of malfunctioning batteries and which are being retrofitted with opening windows because of malfunctioning air conditioning, water cannon that cannot be used, a Thames cable car that has few passengers and, most significantly, appalling pollution levels resulting in large measure from inadequate controls of taxis.
The next PM? I don’t think so.
Sir, In the past, and in times of crisis, we have accepted a government of national unity under the leadership of the party in power but with trusted involvement from all MPs from all parties. Is now the time for us to bring the best of our representatives together for the good of the UK?
Sir Peter Redwood
Sir, Professor Michael Sheppard asks how the people of Cornwall and Sunderland can possibly have voted to leave the EU when they are so dependent on EU funding. The answer is simple: they value their freedom more than they value money.
I refer him to the Declaration of Arbroath of 1320: “It is in truth not for glory, nor riches, nor honours that we are fighting, but for freedom — for that alone, which no honest man gives up but with life itself.”
Sir, As Sir John Chilcot will be free after next week, he could be put in charge of activating Article 50. This should delay our exit for at least ten years, and give us time to find a way out of this shambles.
Blaenau Ffestiniog, Gwynedd