Brexit And The Will Of The People

What if all the people of the European Union had a vote?

The people of Britain have spoken. On the 23rd June 2016 the United Kingdom decided in a referendum they wanted to leave the European Union (EU). The vote to leave was only by a small margin, but a majority nevertheless.

It has been suggested that there could be a second referendum. Not necessarily a repeat of the first but a vote on the terms of our departure from the EU, once they are negotiated. Suppose the citizens of remaining EU countries also have a vote on the terms of our leaving? After all, UK leaving the EU affects them too.

I believe it is in UK’s best interest to remain part of the EU single market for goods and services. The price of doing so is almost certain to include continuing to accept free movement of EU citizens, exactly what the leave proponents did not want, but let’s suppose for a moment free movement is not in the negotiated settlement.

What if the citizens of the EU were also given a referendum on the terms of our leaving? Does anyone seriously think they would vote to allow us to remain in the single market, without accepting free movement of people?

That would be the will of the people, just not British people. But if it’s the will of the European people, how could we argue? After all, we’re a democracy and doing what we voted for, so we could hardly expect the EU not to do the same.

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