The People’s Vote is failing – this is why

Tommy Robinson and Gerard Batten led a 5,000-strong protest in London this weekend as members of the far right took to the streets to lambaste Theresa May’s ‘Brexit betrayal’. The UKIP leader called on the PM to “dump the deal” while ally Robinson said this sort of uprising is “what the British establishment fears”.

The messages, despite being conveyed in very different ways, seem to be the same across the board. May’s deal with Europe doesn’t deliver on the promises of the Leave campaign. It will bring the pain without any of the promised gain and will leave the country more divided than ever before.

Yet the only side backing a vote on the final deal seem to be on the Remain side, which is a potentially fatal mistake on the part of the People’s Vote campaigners.

As things stand, the People’s Vote is failing on two counts. The first is that it has failed to clearly define the parameters of the vote and what it means. That has allowed opponents to denounce it as a betrayal of democracy and just a re-run of the first referendum. Which, as we pointed out here, is not really what it is.

The second is that much of its campaigning echoes the sort of project fear electioneering that resulted in the fateful demise of the Remain campaign in 2016. Brits want optimism not scaremongering and pessimism, and much needs to be done to align those traits with a vote on Britain’s future relationship with the European Union.

If we are to make a People’s Vote not only palatable, but attractive to the electorate as a whole significant adjustments need to be made to redress these issues. The nation has united behind their detest of May’s deal with Europe, it’s time they unite behind a vote on our future.

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