Why A Final Say Matters

"Get over it, you lost!", is the refrain of many a Leave supporter. But, if we're all being honest with one another, it's just not that simple. It never was.

Brexit, like no other political event in the UK since the war, is not a simple binary choice; even if the Conservative government, propped up by the DUP, would have you think so.

During the referendum campaign, it was rarely even talked about that Brexit would mean leaving the single market or customs union; yet we are expected to take it as a given now that this is what everyone meant, post-vote.

Nothing else has highlighted this problem more than this week's "not quite there yet" decision over the Irish border problem. In reality there is no solution to that problem unless Northern Ireland can stay in the single market and customs union, even if we call it some other name to keep people happy.

The DUP won't stand for this. The Tory hard-right are already shouting "we're being cheated", and the elephant in the room is: if there is a single market / customs union for Norther Ireland, why not for Scotland? Why not, indeed, for the whole UK?

There has been much talk of a Norway Model approach. Or hard Brexiteers will talk of just walking away and dropping out to WTO rules. Or why not stay in the customs union and leave the single market? Which one of those were you thinking about when you voted in the referendum?

And that seems to be the biggest problem. None of us were thinking about Northern Ireland's border with the Republic; most of us didn't know about Open Sky arrangements, or how not being a member might actually ground British planes at Heathrow; even fewer of us thought about medical imaging and how being outside of Euratom might stop us being able to use our healthcare imaging products.

No matter what the final deal ends up looking like, one thing we can guarantee is, it won't look like anything either Leave or Remain voters were thinking about when they voted in the referendum, because the whole of Brexit is a lot more complicated, nuanced and covers so many things that are very important to the future of our country.

Surely, the only democratic way to resolve this is by giving all of us, including those disenfranchised during the referendum, a final say on the deal? And one option must be to simply remain in the EU and withdraw Article 50.

Without a final say, and a final say for all, we're being silenced at just the time our country needs to hear us loud and clear. Government has been highjacked by the hard-right of the Conservative party, and is being scuppered by the DUP to do the right thing by Northern Ireland and our friends in the Republic of Ireland.

Don't be silenced any more. Join us. We deserve a final say in the decision that will shape our country for the next century. That's why all of this matters.

Justin Bellinger @justinbellinger

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