Keep outcome under review

Bexhill Observer letters
Bexhill Observer letters

From: Peter Webb, Glenleigh Park Road, Bexhill

There’s a lot to digest from developments in our national political life over the last couple of months.

Starting with a surprise, some would say pointless, election called by a PM leading a party and a government with a massive advantage in the opinion polls.

Seven weeks of very poor campaigning by the incumbent, and a magnificent performance by the insurgent, resulting in the wiping out of the government’s working majority in the Commons. If a day is a long time in politics, a month is an eternity.

The uncertainty of the future is why it is both patronising and arrogant of the Tories to rule out a further referendum, either on the question of EU membership, or simply to review the exit terms once negotiated on our behalf.

At the moment all the cards are up in the air and the Tories know no better than anyone else how they will fall. Things are moving fast and the landscape changes from one day to the next.

By the time we are due to leave the EU in 2019, 1.65m people will have died and left the electoral register, but 1.925m will have been added (both are figures which exceed the 2017 referendum majority).

None of these newcomers has ever been asked for their opinion of Brexit. This pace of change in demographics will continue, year in year out.

The idea that the futures of countless numbers of this country’s youth should be irrevocably determined by a Yes/No ‘one moment in time’ referendum vote by their parents is clearly ludicrous.

The highly-regarded New York Review recently said this about our referendum and general election results: “Strip away the post-imperial make-believe and the Little England nostalgia, and there’s almost nothing there, no clear sense of how a middling European country with little native industry can hope to thrive by cutting itself off from its biggest trading partner and most important political alliance.”

If the rest of the world can see the fallacy of Brexit, why shouldn’t we?

The EU is a club and the way to improve things is from within, not by pulling up the stumps and sulking off. The only damage we do is to ourselves.

We need Europe far more than they need us, and we owe it to our children to keep the non-binding outcome of last year’s ill-planned referendum under review.

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