Politics

Brexit: a second chance?

Since the UK public voted to leave the EU, there have been many calls for another referendum. A “do-over”. Of course, the amount of support for another referendum has fluctuated since the 2016 vote. According to the Irish Examiner, polls suggest there is an ever-increasing appetite for another vote.

One can only hope the British public are beginning to realise how bad their decision was. To say that UK Prime Minister Theresa May and her government have had a hard time is an understatement. The EU has presented a united front against British exceptionalism. In particular, they’ve reassured the Irish government several times that they have their back on the border issue.

May hasn’t been able to present herself as the strong, competent leader she wants to be seen as. Perhaps this is why she is so adamant that there will not be another Brexit vote. Those calling for another Brexit referendum most likely already have a negative view of May. It’s probably safe to say that the vast majority of them wouldn’t vote for her, or her party. Most of the support she has left likely comes from Brexiters. By holding another referendum, she would be turning her back to those supporters, and thus commit career suicide.

However, May should sacrifice her political career for the good of the country. The UK has yet to reap any of the benefits that the “Leave” side claimed would arrive. Then again, of course, they haven’t. As most people are already aware, the Leave campaign was built on lies. The most infamous of which probably was the claim that leaving the EU would free up £350 million for the NHS.

I think it goes without saying that the money is nowhere to be found.

Why should May’s ego stop the UK from reversing their decision? Her refusal to hold another vote is the embodiment of selfishness. As mentioned before, the Leave campaign was built on lies. There are certainly problems with the EU, but the Leave side didn’t build their campaign on those issues. Instead, they focused on misdirection and xenophobia. And, sadly, it worked. Ridiculous ideas such as Turkey being poised to join the EU were thrown about. Two years later, Turkey is no closer to joining the EU than they were at the time of the Brexit vote.

The British public was presented with false information from the Leave side, and the Remain side failed to emphasise the importance of the EU. This is clear from the fact that the most Googled question in the UK after voting to leave was: “What does it mean to leave the EU?” One should probably know the answer to that question before voting for it.

In an ironic twist of fate, the British public probably know more about the EU now than they did two years ago. Brexit talks have brought to light just how important the EU is.

We’re now less than one year away from the UK’s deadline to leave the EU. However, as most people are already aware, the UK is still not close to coming to a deal. Obviously, it’s in the UK’s best interest to leave the EU with a deal, and to a certain extent, it’s also in the EU’s best interest (although naturally to a lesser extent).

But with the deadline date fast approaching, it’s probably best for everyone to just call it quits and pack the bags. It’s difficult to get people on board with this idea though, because of the “Sunk Cost” fallacy. Essentially it asserts that the more time you put into something, the more you’ll stick with it, because you’ve already put so much effort into it.

For example, if you’ve been waiting in line for an hour, you’re probably going to wait until the end, even if you haven’t moved an inch. This type of thought process is partially responsible for preventing another referendum. If the UK doesn’t leave the EU, this whole ordeal will have been a colossal waste of time and resources.

Then again, that’s exactly what Brexit has been from the beginning. I believe a more informed British public should be given another chance to decide their future. In particular, young people (73 percent of which voted to remain) should not have their future destroyed.