LETTER: People power should be used

I was quoted as arguing for a second referendum on Brexit but not why.

Thursday, 8th March 2018, 9:00 am
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 12:42 am

As I made clear in my speech, there is much that Remainers and Leavers should, can and usually do agree on – and this should be our starting point for respectful debate.

The examples I gave included the importance of national sovereignty, our ability as citizens to hold to account those who make laws that affect us, to throw out politicians who have failed us and to pursue closer ties with our North American and Commonwealth allies.

We may disagree on the benefits of immigration and on the extent to which immigrants are responsible for the pressure on services but we can at least agree that services are strained – that housing to rent or buy is increasingly unaffordable for young people and that our roads, sewers, drains and schools are not keeping up with demand.

Remain lost the referendum.

The responsibility now lies with the Government to deliver the Brexit that the people were promised.

If they cannot do so – and the evidence is increasingly that they cannot – then what began with people power should be concluded by people power.

The question the bus asked is ‘Brexit – is it worth it?’

If the public think the deal on offer is poor, they should have the right to reject it.

If it believes it can negotiate a deal that will benefit the country, the Government should have no hesitation in letting the public endorse it.

If they cannot get a deal better than the one we already have, if leaving will make us poorer, less influential and less in control of our destiny, they should be honest about it rather than shambling on and embarrassing us all.

If the public conclude that Brexit is not worth it, they should be allowed to say so – and to call it off.

Jonathan Brown, Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Candidate for Chichester (2017), Stein Road, Southbourne