Monthly Archives: September 2018

On ratifying Brexit (or not)

In my book Aid Performance and Climate Change (Routledge, 2017, p. 91) I wrote this on the pro-Brexit outcome of the June 2016 referendum: “This disruption of international cooperation when it is most needed against climate change is likely to be very harmful.”  And so it is proving.  For this and other reasons, there is now, in late 2018, strong public demand to subject the Brexit project to a new referendum by an electorate that is far better-informed than before, but the issue is clouded by calls for a referendum also on the terms of Brexit that are being negotiated with the EU.  To clarify (a) whether the UK should leave the EU at all, and (b) if so, the terms of its departure, I propose the following model for an urgent, two-part referendum.

Referendum on UK membership of, or terms of departure from, the EU
Part A: Membership of the EU

Question: Do you wish the United Kingdom to remain a member of the European Union?

Select only ONE option in Part A:

YES

If you selected this option you have completed the referendum by expressing your wish for the UK to remain a member of the EU without any condition.

NO

If you selected this option you should proceed to Part B.

Part B: Terms of departure from the EU

Complete Part B only if you have selected ‘NO’ in Part A.

Question: Do you support the UK Government’s agreement with the EU for the terms on which the UK will leave the EU?

Select only ONE option in Part B:

YES

If you selected this option you have completed the referendum by expressing your wish for the UK to leave the EU on the terms agreed with the EU.

NO

If you selected this option you have completed the referendum by expressing your wish for the UK to leave the EU without any condition.

© Julian Caldecott