Brexit: Time to give people final say

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The past two years of Parliamentary deadlock and increased fracturing of the UK political system caused by Brexit has highlighted the need for the people to have the final say on how, or if, the United Kingdom leaves the European Union.

It has become plain to see that the the reality of Brexit in 2019 bears no resemblance to the Brexit fantasy promised in the 2016 referendum. How exactly we would leave the EU was not defined on the ballet paper, yet exploitative misinformation in the campaign such as incorrect likely financial benefits of leaving the EU was utilised to promote a Brexit that is impossible to deliver.

Numerous opinion polls show that the public has changed its mind, and the withdrawal agreement negotiated has suffered historic defeats in the House of Commons. The fact that Brexit is still yet to be defined, with no majority for any variation, illustrates the failure of the political system. This can only be fixed by giving the people the final say.

This would not be a rerun of the 2016 referendum but a righteous and truly democratic exercise. In 2016, the people gave a mandate to negotiate Brexit; in 2019, they should be able vote on the product of those negotiations or choose to remain in the EU.

Catherine Bearder

Liberal Democrat MEP for South East England,

Park End Street

Oxford