Well, what a surprise, a new cross party study tries to convince us that the only way to sort Brexit out is another referendum.

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A study called 'Six Dead-Ends, One Cliff-Edge, Only One Way Out' puts forward the case that, as all Brexit options have been tried or rejected, then only a new referendum will sort the mess out.

The study, endorsed by former Labour minister and leader Margaret Beckett and the Tory former Attorney General Dominic Grieve, lists what it calls the six dead ends as:

1. Attempting to remove or renegotiate the Irish border backstop

2. Trying to agree a Northern Ireland only backstop

3. Trying to get the Withdrawal Agreement surrender treaty through parliament

4. Calling a general election

5. Revoking Article 50

6. Requesting another Article 50 extension for more negotiations with the EU

and their cliff edge is of course the no deal Brexit option.

and their way out is of course another EU referendum.

The report puts together the Remainer case in a way that tries to herd the reader down a corridor with every door but one being shut as they walk down it.

But of course the main message from this is that MPs couldn't decide between them what to do about our EU membership and had to go to the people as their last resort in 2016.

The politicians then got an answer most of them didn't like and so they worked as hard as they could against it.

I reckon that, at first, they thought they could wear the country down and quietly reverse Brexit without too much of a fuss sometime during the two year Article 50 process.

But they didn't count on the strength of UK patriotism, so they had to find another way to hang on and that involved scorched earth delaying and obfuscation.

Now that they've successfully manoeuvred the country into an impasse, they claim the only way out is to go back to the people.

All in the hope that they'll get the 'right' answer this time of course.

And it wouldn't matter if they had half the turnout and won only by one vote – that would be enough for Remain and there would be no talk of another referendum. They would drag us back inside up to the neck, Schengen, the Euro, EU army and the rest – the full monty!

Anyway, the report is quite good in certain areas about why the routes they list are dead ends.

But I would change the cliff edge from being the no deal Brexit to being a second EU referendum and change the way out from being a second referendum to being a no deal Brexit.

Because a no deal Brexit is full certainty, especially for business and the law. It respects the will of the people as shown in the 2016 EU referendum and cuts all political and financial ties with the EU.

And it would allow the government to quickly get on with tackling pressing domestic issues.

But a second EU referendum? That would be far more divisive within the UK than the one held in 2016.

It would tear apart both the Labour and Conservative parties.

It would re-open wounds among families and communities.

It would impose at least another six months of business uncertainty on the country.

There would be arguments over whether or not 16 and 17 year olds should be able to take part in the referendum and some will say that EU27 nationals should also vote in it.

All this adding to the ire.

And what if Leave won again?

What if there was a low turn-out?

What if Remain won by a narrow margin – how would the Leave vote be 'respected'?

Importantly, it could massively increase the split between the countries of the UK. As Scotland and Northern Ireland may well increase their Remain votes, while England and possibly Wales might see an increase in support for Leave.

And this UK angle with respect to a second EU referendum has not been discussed enough.

The authors of the report say that a general election is a dead end and won't sort Brexit out, because the polls indicate that a hung parliament would once again be the result.

But a general election called now would be a Brexit general election, however much the two main parties tried to make it about Red and Blue.

That says to me that the result of another referendum could potentially also be very close.

All this is why a second referendum would be so damaging and divisive for the country and the union.

No, the no-deal WTO Brexit is the solution, not the cliff edge. In reality the cliff edge is the second EU referendum!

Sources:

https://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/in/pages/19743/attachments/original/1563184777/cliffedgedossier_A4.pdf?1563184777

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