My article for the Scotsman on a confirmatory referendum and the Brexit extension. You can also read the article on the Scotsman website here.
WITH a six-month extension to the Brexit crisis, a ‘People’s Vote’ is now closer than ever before, writes Ian Murray MP.
For more than two years, Theresa May ran down the clock in the forlorn hope of forcing her flawed deal through parliament.
She remained firmly opposed to giving people their democratic right to have a final say on Brexit, and some claimed there simply wasn’t enough time to go back to the public.
Well, not anymore.
Now we have the window of opportunity to hold a people’s vote. It is within our reach.
After Tony Blair won his landslide election victory in May 1997, he delivered on Labour’s promise to hold a referendum on Scottish devolution as early as September of that year.
The Constitution Unit at University College London has been clear that a swift legislative process is possible. The experts say passing the necessary legislation and the required regulated campaign can be done in 24 weeks.
There is time to hold a referendum before 31 October.
A confirmatory referendum received the highest level of support twice among MPs in the recent rounds of indicative votes in Parliament.
To achieve this, parties are going to have to work together in the national interest.
That means my own party leadership must maintain its full-square support for a People’s Vote, with a strict disciplinary process for those in the Shadow Cabinet who stand in its way.
It means the SNP must stop trying to leverage a divisive and unwanted second independence referendum into the negotiations.
It means the Tories must stop putting their party ahead of the country – there isn’t time for a self-indulgent leadership campaign.
The EU has given us a lifeline to avoid the calamity of Brexit, and the economic hardship, job losses and missed opportunities that come with it.
There is now a democratic solution to this crisis, and its time has come.