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The Case For A Referendum On A Brexit Deal: A Warning From A Parallel Universe

20/01/2017 15:37
DavidCallan via Getty Images

Theresa May's hard-Brexit plans are without a mandate. The case for the UK to vote on the final Brexit deal is clear. It is democratically right that the entirety of the electorate vote on whether the hard-Brexit the Conservative government is gunning for is one they endorse. Instead of reeling off a list of arguments about why the voters deserve a chance to vote on whether the exact type of Brexit we're getting is the one they wanted, I am instead providing you with a warning, from a parallel universe...

Morning has broken on 24 June 2016. Across the country people are rolling over in their beds to collect their smartphones from the bed side table. Social media is filled with glee, and rife with anger. Videos of Andrew Neil announcing that Remain has won the EU membership referendum with 51.9% of the vote circulate the web as Prime Minister David Cameron prepares for his victory speech.

Nigel Farage appears on Sky News and immediately calls for a second referendum, calling the close vote 'unfinished business'. Equalities minister Nicky Morgan is quick to shoot down claims of a second vote, saying it was a once in a lifetime opportunity - never to be undone.

David Cameron takes to the plinth set out before his 10 Downing Street home; he praises the British electorate for choosing to Remain and reiterates that Britain now has "the best of both worlds" and calls on the country to unite.

The two sides of the debate continue to joust in raucous discussion over the Autumnal months and the festive period that follows. Friends fall out, partners bicker and Christmas family board games become wrestling matches.

January arrives and David Cameron faces a routine session of Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons. He announces that he has agreed a new deal with Europe that will see the UK now divert all military funds in to a new European Union Army. The Brexit camp of the Tory party and the entirety of Ukip are apoplectic with rage. Newly-appointed foreign minister Anna Soubry labels them all "disbeleavers" and tells them to respect the vote and get on with it.

The Leave camp are livid with David Cameron's new policy pledge, and are once again caught off guard, when he announces that Britain will enter the Schengen Area to encourage more migration in order to boost our public service workforce. On an episode of Question Time, Gisela Stuart decries the move, saying that the 48% of Leave voters hold genuine concerns over immigration and aren't being listened to. Caroline Lucas snaps back saying "you lost, we won, get over it."

George Osborne, the Chancellor of the Exchequer comes to announce his Spring Statement, along with several tax public spending cuts; his flagship policy is that the UK is to adopt the Euro as its official currency. He cites that it will bring us closer to our allies overseas and make exporting and importing easier. Backbencher Michael Gove publicly rebuts that he has absolutely no mandate to do this. He declares that the question was to 'Remain or Leave' the EU and nothing more. Later that week, Osborne asks Gove in the Commons: "Do you think the voters are stupid? They knew exactly what they were voting for, and this was it".

He goes on to explain that the 3.8% margin of victory was a clear seal of approval of all the European Union is.

Following yet another heated row in the Commons, Theresa May, who is increasingly concerned about the disunity in the country, pulls David Cameron to one side in the halls of Westminster Palace.

"David." She says, "Are you sure all of this is right, after all, the voters only voted on whether to be in or out - not on what being in or out would look like."

"Oh, Theresa, you sound just like those disbeleavers, we were very clear that this is what would happen. The public voted in, and we can't have some sort of 'half-in, half-out membership - can we?" the Prime Minister replies.

"Well, I suppose not, David, but it's a little extreme - this won't unite the country, will it? Don't you think the voters should have a say on all of this?"

"Theresa... Remain means Remain."

As the Prime Minister turns and walks away, Theresa May stands there pondering the injustice of David Cameron using his executive power to interpret a slender majority as a mandate for his every whim.

Remind her of anybody?

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