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What would the local reaction be if there was a second European referendum?

August 16, 2018 5:00 PM
By Gary Fuller in Folkestone Herald - Talking Points

Around 70% of people locally voted to leave the European Union in what was in fact the second referendum on Europe. Many will have voted based on the belief that the nation state should be sovereign in deciding all policy, from taxes to immigration. Some may have voted based on more specific issues, like globalisation. I voted remain.

My basis for doing so was a belief that we need more cooperation among human beings through multinational governmental bodies. I believe that in a globalised economy we need globalised rules and power structures to protect the planet and the people that live on it. On June 23rd 2016 my view was the minority view, if only by a small margin.

Since then several things have changed. We've seen many of the predictions made by both sides in the debate were not entirely accurate. Brexit hasn't turned out to be the easiest deal in history, and countries aren't lining up to do trade deals with us. The value of the pound is still more than 10% below what it was the day before the referendum, and that's before leaving.

One of the key arguments for having the second referendum in 2016 was that things had sufficiently changed since the first referendum in 1975 to warrant the opportunity to reconsider our view on membership of the EU. I believe that in the past two years enough has changed to warrant a third referendum. What we were told and what has happened are two very different things.

Nationally, the populace seems to share this view. Locally, I suspect most people would not be in favour of a third referendum, through weariness of the subject if nothing else. I'm sure however that they would be active in campaigning for the right, and hopefully final, decision.