It’s a lovely idea, isn’t it? The original vote back in 2016 was so close, and many people voted Leave as a ‘protest vote’, not taking it seriously or actually believing we would ever leave. Some of us just reaching our twenties weren’t even old enough to vote in the EU Referendum. So, let’s hold a second one: now that people realise the consequences of leaving the EU the Remain side will inch back over into the majority, and we can all put this mess behind us. The pound will soar back into its former glory, and we’ll all hop on a £10 Ryanair flight to Magaluf to celebrate free movement.]
I can’t help but feel that this is all a little optimistic. The danger with rallying for a ‘people’s vote’ is that most of us are surrounded, physically and online, with views that align with our own. This means that those in favour of a second referendum – such as many students at our generally liberal university – are led to believe that it is essentially equal to remaining in the EU.
There is no guarantee of this. Maybe this is naive, but I can’t help but feel that the damage is done: the British public have made their choice. Let’s do our best to make it work for everyone rather than trying to reverse democracy and oust Theresa May at every opportunity.
Let me be very clear: had I been old enough to vote in the referendum in 2016 I would have voted to remain. I believe that would have been the best thing for our country and for the EU as a whole. But, as our friend Jeremy Corbyn seems to have forgotten, we didn’t vote to remain. That means that more people in our country wanted to leave, even if by a few hundred votes.
Was the 2016 campaign soaked in lies and two-dimensional, deceitful advertising campaigns? Yes, on both sides. Has Theresa May handled the situation badly at times? Absolutely. But it’s what we voted for; it’s not an easy job she’s been saddled with. And her fellow party leaders really aren’t helping.
And what about Corbyn, who has seemingly become a huge figure for students in the UK? He’s promised the abolition of student fees, a vow that he’s since all but retracted. We as students should be more careful with our vote, looking beneath the carefully worded, loophole-riddled promises. We should think more critically about the leaders we support. Corbyn has also stirred up drama within the Brexit debate by hurling insults at May and proposing a Commons vote on a second referendum – a proposal which is carefully worded not to commit Corbyn or his party to backing the second referendum if this Commons vote were to take place. I am, quite honestly, sick of it. From the moment the EU referendum was called, the whole argument has been childish and deceitful, idealising and fear-mongering whenever it suits.
No, Jeremy, we don’t need another vote. We need a government united towards getting Britain through this so that our generation (who will be fielding the consequences of Brexit long after the current leadership are gone) can have a crack at rebuilding a nation we can be proud of.
Image: Eric the Fish via Flickr