How to break the Brexit deadlock

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After this week’s session, we had a think about alternatives to Brexit and we decided to do some research. Many people do not seem to be happy with the idea of leaving the EU, and with the UK’s exit looming ever closer, the government need to act now if they are going to change the outcome.

Our research indicated the following options:

Cancel Brexit

Our initial thought when we realised that this was an option was a mixture of shock and happiness. If there is an option available to just cancel the whole thing, why are the government not taking it straight away! The article on the BBC suggested that Article 50 can be revoked at any time without having to get agreement from any other country in the EU. However, when we thought about it a bit more, we realised that this would go against democracy and that might explain the government’s reluctance. 17.4 million people voted to leave the EU, so disregarding their votes would be completely immoral.

The Queen gets involved

I think this is a very unlikely scenario and isn’t supposed to happen as the Queen never gets involved with politics. However, if Theresa May gets a vote of no confidence, the Queen is the only person who will be able to invite somebody new to form a government and become prime minister. If this new leader is against Brexit, they might choose to call a new referendum or cancel it completely.

A Citizen’s Assembly

We had to look up what this meant.

A citizens’ assembly is a group of people who are brought together to discuss an issue or issues, and reach a conclusion about what they think should happen. The people who take part are chosen so they reflect the wider population – in terms of demographics (e.g. age, gender, ethnicity, social class) and sometimes relevant attitudes (e.g. preferences for a small or large state).

We think a citizen’s assembly sounds like a great idea as it will give a wider group of people the opportunity to share their ideas.

Two referendums

But what would the question be? A direct "Remain or Leave" re-run? Leave with a deal or no-deal? Or a combination of the two, with potentially three questions? And wouldn’t just be repeating the decision already made?

It’s a hard thing to think about, because people have already voted and made their decisions. Is it right to push people to essentially change their minds? Doesn’t this counter the whole idea of allowing people to share their ideas within a democracy?

What do you think? What would be the best way to break the Brexit deadlock?

References

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-46480704

https://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/housing-communities-and-local-government-committee/citizens-assembly-faq-17-19/

Comments (6)

  • Olivia-Avatar.jpg Olivia @ the BNC 08 Mar 2019

    This is a brilliant post that shows excellent curiosity and open-mindedness. You have also researched and explained in your own words, which isn't easy when the topic is so difficult!
    We are hoping that one of our experts is going to be an expert on democracy, especially deliberative democracy. Do you have a question that you would like me to send them?

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  • The-Ruth-Gorse-logo-250x250.jpg creative_sparrow
    The Ruth Gorse Academy 10 Mar 2019

    Hi cultured_atom and buzzing_fossil

    I think your post is excellent for putting these options forwards. I have never heard of a citizen’s assembly before, and after reading your post, my initial thought was, that’s a great idea but, will these chosen people be any different to electing local MP’s by going through the same process of campaigning and elections? However, I researched it further and apparently the people who take part are chosen randomly and so this is how a citizen’s assembly can have representatives to reflect a much broader mix of people. So yes, it’s a brilliant idea. Well done!

    I definitely think we should have another referendum, just so we know for sure, after all it’s nearly 3 years on. We should simply confirm whether the UK really wants to leave or to remain (A third vote option might be complicated, but I guess it will depend on what the question is). I definitely don’t think it’s undemocratic despite what people say because everyone will be given another chance to have their say again and for those that complain (mainly Brexiteers) I don’t quite understand their position. It will simply be a request to confirm their vote (just like a computer asks you to confirm your password of your choice). Besides, just like the MP Ruth Smeeth said, “We have elections nearly every year of some kind or another.” Is it really a big deal to go out and vote again, considering what is at stake?

    Having said that, if there’s only a binary vote - Stay or Leave - Stay means we just cancel Brexit however, if the outcome turns out to Leave again (without Deal or No Deal option), this probably will lead us straight back to a deadlock again; the same position that we are currently in. Even so, I think leaving with a No-Deal Brexit is very unlikely to be placed as an option, based on the government’s OWN assessment of how disastrous it would be for the UK, MP’s would not let it pass through parliament. And if we decide that the UK were to leave on a Deal, (probably a compromise deal that nobody likes) will all the Brexiteers be happy even then?


    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/blog/live/2019/feb/26/brexit-latest-news-developments-theresa-may-chairs-cabinet-amid-reports-she-is-about-to-announceu-turn-on-giving-mps-potential-vote-to-extend-article-50-politics-live?page=with:block-5c756b65e4b0405a56b4793d

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  • Birchwood-logo-250x250.jpg entertaining_strawberry
    Birchwood C of E Primary School 11 Mar 2019

    In my opinion, we should have voted again.
    The ideas I have are, people who voted to leave can change their minds( if wanted) or stick to their original vote. More people will vote, because all those people who are arguing but didn’t have a say will have a chance. So as a result, mostly everyone will vote!
    The questions I am answering are,
    •What if their are less elders who want to leave?
    I think the answer to this question is, if it is a majority vote, it doesn’t matter if their are more elders, girls or boys. One because gender doesn’t matter, and two, because it’s the majority’s decision.
    •If it’s the majority’s decision, why can’t we just follow the original idea?
    Because people are left out and didn’t vote, so we should give them a chance.
    • They didn’t vote out of choice
    I understand this but a lot of people are protesting so I believe that this is best.

    Reply to this comment
  • Birchwood-logo-250x250.jpg determined_orange
    Birchwood C of E Primary School 12 Mar 2019

    Even though there are two week and three days left until Brexit, there is so much going on! The Prime Minister is
    very busy getting all the up coming votes ready. But will today's vote take a new turn? As Theresa May was beaten in the votes, Brexit is an question again. As we all know, at the house, there was a massive argument about the votes,but why? Also, after a long time. I'm also worried about the people in my class because they are also part of the EU at the same time they live in England. So when we leave ,they are going to have a hard times living her.

    Reply to this comment
  • Highdown-logo-250x250.jpg alert_walrus
    Highdown School 12 Mar 2019

    This is a great post where you have looked at all sides of the argument and have come up with some interesting ideas and facts. I found the one about the queen very intriguing as I never new about it. I would really like to know you’re final overall opinion.

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