Back in June 2016, the country walked into voting booths and ticked one of two boxes: to leave or remain in the European Union. Little did they know then how much chaos the outcome of that decision would cause. Brexit. They didn’t know precisely how it would be enacted, who would be leading the decision-making process, or, crucially, that the numbers they saw straddled across the side of a big red bus, numbers that they based their vote on, were lies.
Now, over two years later, it’s fair to say everyone is a bit more aware. Although the standard definition still remains ‘Brexit means Brexit’, the crucial details of the varying deals, from a softer Brexit, that includes staying in the single market, to a hard Brexit that ‘takes back control’ over British borders and trade, or even the dreaded no deal, have become much more common knowledge. There is a stronger sense of the reality of Brexit and the different implications of these deals, instead of merely the obsessive focus on immigration, the loose concept of national sovereignty (and perhaps an opposition to David Cameron himself) that proved so crucial in the 2016 campaign.
So, is it time for another referendum on Brexit? I think so. Not on whether we go ahead with leaving the EU or remain as the Liberal Democrats propose – that vote has already occurred and it would clearly be undemocratic to undermine that vote regardless of the close outcome – but on the form of the Brexit deal itself. If, as many statistics suggest, the country now leans towards remain, or at the very least a soft Brexit, than surely the prospect of a hard Brexit or no deal is equally as undemocratic as ignoring the initial result.
It is only right that the British public – including the youth who were excluded from the 2016 vote – should get the final say on the deal that leads to the UK leaving the European Union. Brexit will be the defining political issue of its age and will have long-lasting and long-term repercussions – to do any different would simply be undemocratic.