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LibDems wanting a second referendum - Please explain the logic

(467 Posts)
optionalrationale Sat 06-May-17 15:02:09

The LibDems believe the UK should remain part of the EU. While they accept the outcome of the the June 2016 Referendum, they also want the final terms of our exit deal to go to a second Referendum in the hope that we say "OK let's Remain after all".

Can anyone explain the logic of this position at this stage of the negotiations? Surely this encourages the EU to make our exit terms the very worst they can make them, basically holding us to ransom until the second referendum would be deliver the capitulation they and the LibDems are hankering for.

tiggytape Sat 06-May-17 15:17:00

The logic is that people would see a scary prospect in black and white then vote remain and this new result then cancels out the original leave vote. It is a way of getting a democratic remain result rather than simply cancelling Brexit which isn't going to wash.

The risk is, as you say that it incentivises a bad deal or no deal (assuming the EU still want our contributions if not our hassles). If the EU do want to prevent our exit for financial and stability reasons, they are not going to be minded to offer anything that is even vaguely appealing to leave voters in the final vote.

Personally, I'd have thought there would still be a very good chance that leave would win a vote at the end. In fact, I think I'd put money on it.
There would be huge anti-EU feeling after 2 years of strenuous unpleasant talks and resentment towards anything perceived as arm-twisting. I think it is hard to underestimate how contrary voters can be especially if it all becomes tied up with cries of national pride, and us versus them etc.

HPFA Sat 06-May-17 15:39:48

You are right about the danger of a second referendum leading to the EU potentially offering worse terms.

On the other hand all of us voted in June without having much idea of what the practical consequences would be - that applies whether you voted Remain or Leave. IF it becomes clear in two years time that our economy and society are likely to be significantly worse from our leaving (and the promised benefits are unlikely to transpire) then there ought to be a mechanism for us to change our minds. A second referendum would seem to be the only means for doing this.

annandale Sat 06-May-17 15:46:37

I can see the logic but I personally don't want a second referendum despite being about to vote LD grin However, what I would hope is that any referendum would be a bit more nuanced in terms of the question it asked.

tiggytape Sat 06-May-17 15:59:00

I suppose the logical question would be... and then what?
Because it wouldn't all just go back to the situation we were in a year ago today.

If we are two years down the line, the EU offer an absolutely terrible deal and refuses all further negotiations to force a remain vote in the UK (huge divorce bill, tariffs on trade, all sorts of barriers and impediments etc) and the UK votes 51% to reject that deal and remain........
TM's Government would be defeated and we'd go into a General Election on Brexit with the option to vote for a party that will tell the EU to get stuffed, trigger Article 50 and leave immediately. Another party offering Remain As Is because that's the best of available options. Or another party offering Remain and Reform pr something along those lines (promise of talks to address voter concerns but within the EU and to renegotiate our opt outs and considerations in the EU)

Or supposing the vote goes 51% Leave. The deal is possibly worse than any we would have got had the carrot of remaining not been dangled for 2 years. It would be a vote motivated by anger at the talks resulting in a deal designed to arm-twist the UK into staying because logically, it would be a bad deal. And we leave on what practically everyone agrees is a terrible deal, suffer immediate fallout of that, TM has failed to make it a success as promised and then we go into a General Election with one party promising........

When does the end point with re-voting come unless a sizeable majority of either Leavers or Remainers are converted to the other side?
I agree that if we get to a stage where for example 70%+ wanted to remain, that could square things off and halt any immediate revisiting of the issue. But from what we've seen this week, I don't think the negotiation period is going to lead to an abundance of good feelings and reconciliation. I think anti-EU feeling within the UK (towards the EU negotiators) will rise regardless of the details of any deal.

glorygloryhallelujah Sat 06-May-17 16:47:14

I agree with Tiggy although I think a Remain and Reform party is unlikely given that few people, after observing two years of acrimony and entrenchment from the EU, would believe any sort of reform was likely.

HPFA Sat 06-May-17 16:54:29

I do have doubts about a second referendum - I would just like us to have a get-out clause.

I suspect the best thing to do is just keep making the case calmly and clearly that the EU is not punishing us - that any bad effects of Brexit are the result of the decision to leave. If and when these effects become clear then hopefully at least a few people will be willing to lend an ear. Better than keeping silent anyway.

missmoon Sat 06-May-17 17:37:05

"Surely this encourages the EU to make our exit terms the very worst they can make them, basically holding us to ransom "

The mood in the EU27 has changed quite significantly in the past few weeks, and basically they can't wait to get rid of us. We will end up paying large amounts for market access, but with little say on the rules and future of the market, so why would they want us in? I hear this all the time from German, Dutch and Spanish friends.

caroldecker Sat 06-May-17 17:50:40

We cannot go back in without the agreement of the EU. So, if we have a referendum, the deal has to be:
1. Negotiated deal
2. No deal
3. Back in on EU terms

This 3rd choice is unlikely to be the same as today, most likely include loss of rebate, probably join the Euro /Schengen etc.
What are the Lib Dems actually saying the question would be?

optionalrationale Sat 06-May-17 18:16:11

Missmoon you aren't commenting on the question posed in the title of this thread.

What is the logic of promising a second referendum which will only incentivise our negotiating counterparts to hold out for the most damaging possible deal for Leave?

Anon213 Sat 06-May-17 20:02:18

The point of a second referendum is not because its good for the UK. Its because Tim nice but gay sex is a sin Dim has seized a a short term opportunity to help his party recover from the massacre at the last election. Its politics.

As others have said it incentives a bad deal. UK votes to leave anyway and we get the bad deal that could have been avoided if we had been sensible.
If UK votes to stay in the EU then the Conservatives call a general election on the policy of taking us out of the EU immediately on WTO terms. Massive right wing landslide. Oh wait that is what is happening.

The only chance we have to getting a good deal is for TM to do it without such a stupid encumbrance.

ChardonnayKnickertonSmythe Sat 06-May-17 20:03:59

I agree with that.

optionalrationale Sat 06-May-17 21:04:01

Very clear points TiggyTape, Anon 213 and others.
Thank you.

So despite all the vocal exuberance of Remoaners on MN, we have established in just a few comments, that the one major political party entering the GE on a Remoan agenda has a completely illogical position.

How do you feel Remoaners?

HPFA Sun 07-May-17 06:36:03

How do you feel Remoaners?

I feel that I entered this discussion in good faith only to be sneered and insulted. Thanks for that.

LittlePickleHead Sun 07-May-17 08:52:09

How do you feel remoaners?

I feel like we are screwed as a country regardless of what happens now but it's SO important to have some kind of opposition holding the government to account. That's at best what the Lib Dems can hope for, so there won't be a second referendum.

But I have a question for you optional - you have won, you are winning, literally everything is going your way at the moment.

Why do you feel the need to come here and patronise those of us fearful for the future? Why are so many leave voters still so angry and confrontational? You should be happy - surely affording a bit of magnanimity to those of us who are affected by the decision to leave the EU is acceptable?

Maybe we are clinging on to a vain hope that the decision will be reversed because the majority will change their minds but NEWSFLASH nothing is going our way so you don't need to patronise us!

squishysquirmy Sun 07-May-17 09:16:03

Ifeel like we are screwed as a country regardless of what happens now but it's SO important to have some kind of opposition holding the government to account. That's at best what the Lib Dems can hope for, so there won't be a second referendum.

Yup!

I don't think Brexit has to be a disaster, but I am very worried by the tone the current government has set. Its the complete shut down of even the most mildly dissenting voice that is the worst thing, for me. The most competent leaders are the ones who listen to a range of viewpoints. Purging anyone who is even vaguely "negative" from the UK team is depriving us of a huge amount of skill, which we really can't afford to do. Closing your eyes to awkward facts and storming out of meetings isn't going to change those facts, but that's how the ministers responsible for the negotiations are behaving. Its pathetic, and embarrassing to watch.

I don't think there is any realistic chance of the Conservative's not winning in June.
But I am terrified that the opposition will be annihilated. That is the LAST thing we need right now.

Dissent and opposition is essential for a healthy democracy. Especially when there are incredibly important, far reaching decisions being made on our behalf. That applies whether you are remain or leave, left or right. If you want "the best Brexit deal" to be the best deal for a very exclusive bunch, by all means vote Tory.

If you want "the best Brexit deal" to be one that is best for the majority (like many of the people who voted Leave), please please vote for someone else (tactically if you have to).

Bananagio Sun 07-May-17 09:16:21

How do you feel remoaners?

That you should enjoy your time of victory without gloating and goading because it makes you look like a right arse.

squishysquirmy Sun 07-May-17 09:18:07

"That you should enjoy your time of victory without gloating and goading because it makes you look like a right arse."
grin

As does starting thread after goady thread. You've got quite a few going now haven't you optional?

RebelAllianceUK Sun 07-May-17 09:23:53

How do you feel remoaners?

I feel embarrassed for you and a deep sense of pity for any offspring you may have, OP. biscuit

HPFA Sun 07-May-17 09:35:47

It's very important that we continue to make the case that we have other choices than the one that is being put before us:

eureferendum.com/blogview.aspx?blogno=86463

This is from someone who supports Leave.

optionalrationale Sun 07-May-17 11:08:34

The GE is weeks way.
The only avowedly pro-Remain major political party is going in advocating a second referendum on the final deal. Given Leavers get told we are dim, embarrassing, worthy of pity and don't understand complexities every single day on this site, I genuinely wanted to check if was missing something obvious.

Remainers are supposed to be the sophisticated, cosmopolitan, progressive, highly-educated elite. Leavers are supposed to be the tattooed, knuckle-draggers who "just don't get it". Yet the central premise of the LibDem approach to the negotiations does not stand up to the analytical skills of a 14 year old*.

BTW *RebelAllianceUK this post was prompted by a genuine question raised by my youngest (for whom you have a deep sense of pity, thanks). Considering you're such a sensitive lot yourselves bunch of Snowflakes you do like to resort to Ad Hominem attacks rather often don't you?

a) LibDems want us to stay in the EU
b) Their last hope of achieving this is to push for a second referendum on the final deal.
c) In order to win the second referendum, they would need a clear majority of the population to say "That is a terrible deal. No thanks. Let's Remain after all"

QED The LibDem position going into the GE is - the EU should stick to their guns and offer the worst possible, least attractive, most painful exit terms (so that the majority of the British people change their minds) and we end up Remaining after all

And these are the voices you want in the negotiations? How does that even work?

twofingerstoEverything Sun 07-May-17 11:33:58

But from what we've seen this week, I don't think the negotiation period is going to lead to an abundance of good feelings and reconciliation.
And this will, of course, be played for all its worth by BlueKip, UKIP and the right wing press.

twofingerstoEverything Sun 07-May-17 11:41:17

Leavers are supposed to be the tattooed, knuckle-draggers who "just don't get it"

Not this old chestnut. The Leavers frequently claim they're portrayed in this way and it's getting to be a tired cliche now. Please do trawl your other, older, goady threads and paste one example here of where you (or any other leaver) have been called tattooed knuckle-draggers.

twofingerstoEverything Sun 07-May-17 11:43:00

I'm another one who can't understand why the 'winners' seem so bitter and angry. Cheer up, optional. You won. Your bright new future awaits, yet you seem to spend an inordinate amount of time being goady and insulting on Mumsnet.

MaudOnceMore Sun 07-May-17 11:49:18

For people who want a second referendum, the rationale (geddit) is quite simple. People voted in the first referendum on the basis of at best nebulous claims - from either side - of what Brexit would mean. A second referendum would enable the government to say "this now is the deal in the table, do you want us to go ahead on this basis?" Surely it's not hard to grasp why some people might think that's the right and democratic thing to do.

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