Should the British vote again on Brexit?
London Mayor Sadiq Khan has called for a new Brexit referendum in an opinion piece for The Observer. The consequences for the British economy and living standards are too great for the people to be denied any more say on the issue, Khan argued. While some commentators pin their hopes on a new vote, others point to at least one catch.
An undemocratic proposal
A new referendum would only deepen the rifts in British society, The Daily Telegraph warns:
“Mr Khan gave the game away by calling for a three-option referendum, with voters offered a choice between remaining in the EU, accepting the Government's deal with Brussels or leaving with no deal. Since this would almost certainly result in the winning option having the support of fewer than 50 per cent of participants in the referendum it is neither democratic nor is it likely to mend the deep fissures that have been opened by Brexit. Indeed, it would make them far worse.”
No majority for the EU
Der Tagesspiegel reacts sceptically to the London Mayor's proposal:
“Khan represents an urban middle class which, along with many other British citizens, stands to lose from a Brexit. Those who work in London's financial district stand to lose at least as much due to Brexit as the automotive workers in Oxford, for example. ... For a second referendum to make sense there would have to be a clear majority for the EU in the polls. But that's not the case - despite all the scenarios regarding a no-deal Brexit. Even if the British are gradually coming to understand the scale of the Brexit's negative economic consequences, there still seems to be a very strong desire to leave the unpopular EU.”
The fog is slowly lifting
Les Echos describes the state of uncertainty in which the British are currently living:
“The negotiations between London and Brussels continue apace. No one really knows if we'll have a 'hard' or a 'soft' deal, or no deal at all. And the British themselves don't seem to know if they should continue along this Via Dolorosa or if they should backtrack by organising a very hypothetical new referendum. Little by little, the fog is lifting. The British are starting to see all that could change in their lives if there is 'no deal'. ... Slowly but surely the Brexit is reshaping the financial landscape. If the British were to leave the Union without an amiable agreement, it would be a real leap into the unknown.”
Khan tossing a lifeline
A new referendum could allow Britain to pull the brakes before it rams into a hard Brexit, Upsala Nya Tidning hopes:
“An additional EU summit is planned for November 13 to set the conditions for the Brexit. If the British Parliament rejects Theresa May's suggestion, it will be too late to start over. ... In calling for a new referendum on any deal that is worked out (or not, as the case may be), London's Mayor Sadiq Khan (Labour) is tossing Britain a lifeline. 'People didn’t vote to leave the EU to make themselves poorer,' he wrote.”