THE BLOG
21/09/2018 13:35 BST | Updated 21/09/2018 13:35 BST

Why Do Brexit Supporters Fear A Second Referendum?

We are told that not a single leave voter has changed their mind - so what have they to fear?

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Theresa May has returned from Salzburg having had her plans for Brexit turned down by the twenty seven other EU leaders. The governments plans are in disarray - so where does this country go now?.

I agree with Jacob Rees-Mogg on one thing - we could and should hold a second Brexit referendum on the terms of Brexit. To be fair he suggested this several years ago - long before his side of the argument were desperately defending the slim majority in the referendum of 2016.

This idea of a second referendum makes perfect sense because there is nothing to suggest that any voters knew the likely outcome of the final negotiations when they voted. Even now no one knows what is likely to be negotiated so it is downright dishonest to suggest that voters knew two years ago.

The enormous Brexit elephant in the room, for Brexit supporters, is that Brexit was sold on the basis of it bringing an improvement in our social and economic lives and it is now obvious that those who sold us this idea were, at best reckless, at worst dishonest.

The Brexit side is now frantically thrashing about pretending it was not so. This involves regular assertions that of course we knew that the Irish border would be a problem - that there would be problems with flights into Europe - that major companies would be warning of severe problems if there is no deal

This has led to much blustering about ‘knowing this all along’.

Every indication is that we will be worse off. Rees-Mogg himself has hedged his bets and suggested that it could take 50 years to see the improvements Brexit might bring.

His company has taken the precaution of opening an office in Dublin presumably ensuring ease of access to the EU for their business. In fairness we all could open offices in Dublin I suppose. What we can be sure of is that he will be ok whatever happens.

A survey by LBC Radio has found that leave voters are happy to suffer higher food prices and a recession in order to achieve Brexit. The survey for LBC by Deltapoll shows that 70% of leavers are happy to leave the EU even if it means longer queues at ports and airports border control. And more than want to leave even if it means the cost of food rises significantly (54%) or the UK goes in to recession (51%).

You could argue that this shows strong ongoing support for Brexit from those that voted for it. Equally you can argue that nearly a third of those that voted leave are not willing to accept worse conditions to achieve Brexit.

What it really does do is lend strong support to the idea that many (if not all) voted to leave expecting things to get better - or at least not worse. Even those ‘hardcore’ leave voters who claim to be willing to put up with hardships will, I think, reflect upon things when any worse conditions actually kick in.

We constantly hear that leave voters knew that Brexit would bring downsides and that everyone of them knew about all downsides in detail when they voted two years ago - so they will surely win the next referendum and confirm once and for all that this country will leave the EU.

We are told that not a single leave voter has changed his or her mind - at least it seems like that sometimes - so what have they to fear about a referendum on the terms of our leaving?

It could be that voters will accept a poorer economy - less tax to help poorer people - fewer worker rights and more expensive travel and food - or what ever else Brexit might bring - and they may still want to Bexit on whatever terms are agreed or even with a ‘no deal’. In which case the leave side wins again and we Brexit and they get what they want.

If the leave side have doubts about winning a second referendum on the terms of Brexit - if they think people might have second thoughts and yet they resist a further referendum - then it is they who are denying democracy and denying the will of the people.

Someone, or some political party, will have to answer for the damage that Brexit is likely to cause to this country so it might be in their interests to put it back to the people before leading us of that cliff.