It’s time now for honesty from politicians: we can’t have everything we want from Brexit – the EU is a bigger player

Just over a week ago the Chequers declaration led to headlines such as “Theresa May has pulled off a deal with her cabinet – and no one has resigned” and “Theresa May wins agreement for new UK Brexit offer”. Though to be fair the latter headline was followed by the line: “How long it lasts is another question.” As it turned out, the answer to that question was less than 48 hours. A week later the declaration and the white paper are widely derided on both sides of the EU debate, and there are now suggestions that the UK’s political problems over Brexit can only be solved by a new referendum.

The seductive thought that only another referendum can fix our Brexit problems is based largely on wishful thinking, like so much of the EU debate. Let us assume that the outcome we want to achieve is one that has the support of a comfortable majority of the country and of MPs, based on a single set of verifiable facts agreed by most, and whose benefits and drawbacks are reasonably well understood. Why should a second referendum in two years deliver this when the first patently failed to do so?

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Read More Talk of a second Brexit referendum is merely a distraction | David Henig

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