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Who Says We Can't Have Another Referendum?

27/06/2016 16:20 | Updated 27 June 2016

The EU referendum was promised and implemented by Cameron's Conservatives to address divisions in their Party because of pressure from UKIP. It was done so that the Tories could stay in power.

The referendum was a democratic process, but I, and millions of other people, didn't sign up to it being the final word on the subject of the EU. It was promised and delivered for cynical political purposes and it now looks like a deeply floored process since it allowed for such a narrow margin of victory by the Leave side for a decision with such enormous consequences.

One million out of population of over sixty four million is a narrow win considering its impact on the future of this Country. It's a clear win - certainly - but on such a narrow margin for such an important issue - it doesn't get to be the final word.

At some level the Brexit victory appears to be a protest vote by people marginalised and left in communities which are changing and where social infra-structures are under strain and they have not had the support they deserve. But it was more than that because even in relatively wealthy areas there was support to leave the EU.

Perhaps it was about more abstract ideas of sovereignty and democratic accountability which are important - but isn't that all a matter of degree and balance? If we gain a bit more sovereignty and regain a small amount of democratic control back from the EU - but we end up suffering economically and we all become poorer then we are allowed to re-visit membership of the EU - and in the event there are enough people who want that - no-one gets to say no.

There were almost certainly elements of xenophobia in the Brexit vote - the fear of the other, the outsider. We know this because we saw evidence that the Leave campaign pandered to it - not least with that dreadful UKIP poster of lines of immigrants - ones photographed no where near the UK.

The referendum was a democratic process and one side won and I recognise that this Tory Government committed itself to leave the EU if the vote went the way it has. But if and when this Tory Government loses power - all bets are off - because very few of us agreed that the referendum was the final word on the EU.

If it looks like leaving the EU makes this Country poorer and that non - or few of - the promises made to the Brexit voters are implemented, and all the social inequalities remain, then we can have another referendum. As every day passes it looks increasingly like the Leave campaign promises were merely 'possibilities'.

The fact that one old Etonian Tory Prime Minister decides to cynically exploit the future of this Country - its economic future - even its very existence as a political entity - just to stay in power: then we can have another referendum.

Who knows - perhaps we will end up in a prosperous and liberal and tolerant UK with great relationships with a stable and prosperous Europe after Brexit - but I doubt that. And if we don't - we do get to have another vote on this if enough people want it.

At the moment it looks like one cynical 'Old Etonian' Prime Minister might be replaced with another cynical 'Old Etonian' Prime Minister in charge of a Government whose 'Plan A' is austerity for poor people. I don't see a brave new world coming out of that.

It was possible for the Tories in Government to give more support to poorer communities under pressure from immigration whilst we were in the EU - I can't see the same old Tories suddenly helping poor people once we are out of the EU - particularly since one by one the various promises made by the Brexit campaigners are being disowned - or were made by people who were not ever going to be in a position to deliver them.

So - it looks like we are leaving the EU - but this isn't the final word on the subject. I know newspapers like the Express and the Daily Mail and many of the Brexit supporters will live in denial even if our leaving the EU proves to be a really bad thing for us even if they don't get many of the things they were promised - but we do get to vote again because we are not all Tories and I and millions of others didn't agree to this referendum being the final word on our future.

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