Britain will have its second referendum – at the EU elections on 23 May
This is a crucial chance to show politicians how we feel now about leaving Europe. The turnout must be huge
‘There is no such thing as a wasted vote. Every voice will count.” Illustration: Eva Bee
In just five weeks’ time, Britain will have a referendum on Brexit. This will take the form of elections to the European parliament, but in reality this will be a pre-referendum, or, if you like your neologisms ugly, a preferendum. So there is now one simple task: to maximise the vote for parties that support a confirmatory referendum on Brexit, giving the British people a democratic choice between accepting the negotiated Brexit deal and remaining in the EU.
If Labour’s manifesto clearly commits to that confirmatory referendum, then Labour is among those parties. If Labour is not clear enough, then turn to the Liberal Democrats, Change UK, the Green party, the Scottish National party or Plaid Cymru. At the end of the day, what will matter more than the precise allocation of seats is that we can say: “X million people voted for pro-European, pro-referendum parties, while only Y million voted for unambiguously pro-Brexit parties such as Ukip, Nigel Farage’s new Brexit party and the Conservatives.” In this vital, bottom-line reckoning, there is no such thing as a wasted vote. Every single voice will count.
There is still a small chance that Conservative MPs will be so terrified of electoral Armageddon for their party on 23 May that they will swing behind Theresa May’s deal in a desperate final meaningful vote in parliament, thus aborting this election at the last minute; but the probability is small and a chance we have to take.
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