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THE CASE FOR AN INFORMED AND DECISIVE POPULAR VOTE ON BREXIT



(According to the latest news from Westminster, Mrs May and Mr Corbyn might agree this week on a revised version of the Brexit deal.

The UK Government might then ask the EU to accept a further delay to confirm this agreement.

Whatever the outcome of this demand might be, the question of a popular vote on the final outcome of Brexit remains)

Indeed, the case for a final popular vote on Brexit has been strongly pushed by an active portion of British public opinion (1) and relayed by a growing number of British MPs.

This case can be summarized as follows :

"Deep and persistent divisions within and between the British Parliament, Government and both majority/opposition parties on the Brexit question have rendered necessary a new popular vote of clarification of this fundamental issue through an “informed referendum”.

Such vote would take place whether or not a deal is finally concluded between UK and the EU.

The popular vote would be a simple choice between two options.

If a final deal has been passed, the options would be :

1. Do you want UK to leave the EU under the final deal agreed between EU and UK ?

2. Do you want UK to remain a member of the EU ?

If no deal has been passed, the options would be :

1. Do you want UK to leave the EU without a deal ?

2. Do you want UK to remain a member of the EU ? "

This popular vote would take place as soon as possible, eventually within a 3 month time limit (2).

For this vote to take place, EU and UK should agree to extend the final Article 50 delay for this new period.

Under a strict interpretation of EU law, UK would have to participate in European elections of 23/26 May 2019 - regardless of the final outcome of Brexit. .

However, it might also be envisaged to postpone the vote until this final outcome (3).

In the case where the popular vote would be in favor of Leave, no such elections would be held.

JGG 04 - 04 - 2019

(1) notably The Economist March 4th : https://www.economist.com/leaders/2019/04/04/theresa-may-takes-a-step-in-the-right-direction-on-brexit

(2) the material organization of this popular vote being similar to that of the 23rd June 2016 referendum, its preparation would not need much less time.

(3) In the meantime, the mandate of outgoing British MEPs would be exceptionnaly prolonged.