Developments since the 23 June referendum provide a strong case for allowing voters another opportunity to express their preferences regarding EU membership. A great deal is at stake and it is only right and proper that voters are able to state what they want to occur amongst the various options that actually present themselves – rather than having to choose between the hypothetical scenarios that were served up to them in June.
The chief developments are:
- The markets’ reaction to Brexit making clear the economic advantages to the UK of membership of the European Single Market.
- EU nations and institutions stating that membership of the European Single Market is ‘all or nothing’ i.e. it would involve the free movement of labour.
A second referendum could therefore be structured to reflect these realities. For example, the choices presented to voters could be:
(a) Remain a member of the EU.
(b) Leave the EU but remain a member of the European Single Market.
(c) Leave the EU and the European Single Market.
As an advisory referendum, the government could state in advance that, in the absence of a majority for (a) or (c), that it will adopt position (b) as being the closest to the general will of the people.