Three options around which people’s compromise could be reached

Date: Monday 9th September 2019

ONE of the more frequent complaints raised about the attitudes of the EU, the Government, Parliament and politicians in general in relation to Brexit is their failure, or refusal, to compromise. The reality is that there are effectively only three options around which a compromise could be reached. They are:

1) Deal. The deal already negotiated with, and agreed by the EU (or whatever amendment to it the Government is able to obtain; 2) No deal. Leaving with no agreement; and 3) Remain.

Events since 31st March, 2017, have shown that compromise by Parliament and government will not be achieved on any of these. This is therefore the time to seek a people’s compromise by holding another referendum with the above options on the ballot paper with a single transferable vote.

In this way the people will themselves face the task of making their own compromises. The compromise for those who want no deal would be to put deal as their second preference as the alternative to remain.

Remainers would have to compromise by putting deal as their second preference to avoid no-deal.

The supporters of deal would have to decide if they preferred no-deal or remain and cast their second preference accordingly. This would then provide an up-to-date “will of the people” which politicians would not be able to ignore.

The parliamentary bill to enable the referendum should oblige Parliament to accept and implement the decision which, if honoured, would remove any accusations of betrayal of the will of the people.

There is, of course, a possibility that, after eliminating the option with the lowest first preferences and distributing their second preferences, the result will be a narrow victory one way or the other.

But this must be accepted as, unlike the 2016 referendum, the facts surrounding the three options are now much more clearly known and the electorate will therefore have made an informed choice. Any calls for a further referendum can then be ignored as the considered “will of the people” will have been delivered.

This will also have the very considerable benefit of removing this single divisive issue from the campaigns of any subsequent general election, enabling politicians and the electorate to concentrate on the many pressing social and economic issues facing our country without the distractions of Brexit and irrespective of the outcome of the referendum.

HENRY PITT

Yanwath.