Let’s be honest about what a second Brexit referendum means

Let’s be honest about what a second Brexit referendum means, by Brendan O’Neill.

A second referendum would be a political abomination. And it’s about time more of us said so. …

If we have another referendum in which Remain is an option on the ballot paper, it will be the first time in the history of British democracy that the British people voted for something and it didn’t happen.

It will be the first time we made a clear, mass democratic choice and the political class turned around to us and said:

‘Sorry, you can’t have that. You have to vote again.’

The precedent this would set would be dreadful. It would rip up the democratic contract itself. It would rupture the bond that exists between the people and the political class — the bond that says that when we make a decision, they act upon it. Democracy cannot function if this bond is broken.

It is striking that the phrase ‘second referendum’ has largely fallen out of fashion. That’s because the politicians and campaigners who want another referendum recognise, at least instinctively, that they are doing something wrong. … And so some doublespeak phrases have been invented to disguise the deeply undemocratic and patronising nature of a second referendum. Some campaigners call it a ‘confirmatory vote’. Others call it a ‘People’s Vote’.

2016 referendum material from the UK government, with Britain the way the elites wish it was: