Justine Greening has just come out in favour of a second Brexit referendum. This is something I’m all in favour of. For Ms Greening doesn’t exactly have a reputation as one of the world’s Great Thinkers and so it is here. For the terms she’s laid out mean that the decision to leave will simply be underlined. Which really isn’t a sign of that great intelligence, is it? If you’re going to propose a vote on such a thing the idea is to make sure you phrase it so that your side wins, not the other:
Justine Greening became the most high profile Conservative to endorse the idea of a second referendum, to end what she said would be a likely parliamentary deadlock over Brexit, warning that Theresa May’s Chequers plan did not represent “a workable compromise” that a majority of MPs could get behind.
There is a good reason against such an idea of course. We’ve already had a vote, we the people have said we’re leaving so, we’re leaving. The talk of a second such vote is a combination of Remainer wishful thinking and the standard EU policy – the people should keep voting until they give the right answer at which point no further discussion is to be allowed.
The prime minister’s effort to keep Britain in parts of the single market is the “worst of both worlds” and will satisfy no one, the former education secretary says in an article for The Times.
With the main parties divided, Ms Greening believes that even a free vote in parliament will not confer legitimacy on the final deal.
“The only solution is to take the final Brexit decision out of the hands of deadlocked politicians, away from the backroom deals, and give it back to the people,” she writes.
Hmm, well, yes, except that’s the thing we’ve already one with that first referendum – the one that’s causing all the complaining – isn’t it? However, the specific proposal she makes is one that I’d support. For the devilment of it rather than anything else:
This shouldn’t be a divisive, binary choice. Two years on, the practical Brexit options are now clear and the public should be asked to choose between the three paths facing our country: the PM’s final negotiated Brexit deal, staying in the EU, or a clean Brexit break and leaving with no deal. Crucially, the referendum should give the public a first and second preference vote, allowing a consensus finally to be found.
It’s possible to weight that, isn’t it? There’s not leave, not really leave, and leave. Last time around not leave and leave split 48/52. Now that we’ve split the not leave vote, the result will be what percentage in favour of really leave?
But then yes, Darling Justine has never really been praised for her intellectual firepower, has she?