Just to cheer you up, a post about Brexit

The country is still seriously and angrily divided, and the days until 29th March are disappearing fast.

So here is my suggestion:

The Government should obtain Parliamentary approval to seek a six-month delay in Brexit to September 2019.  In alliance with the Opposition, it should then pass legislation for a new referendum, to take place at the middle or end of June.

On the ballot paper will be two questions:

1. In 2016 the UK voted to Leave. Do you wish to change this decision and Remain in the EU?

2. If the UK leaves the EU, should it be a) in accordance with the plan already negotiated; or b) without a deal?

Crucially, it should be made clear in advance and on the ballot paper that the Remain option, which is a change to the current status quo, needs to obtain 55% (or even 60%) of the votes cast to win. Question 2 will be majority vote.

Also crucially, no campaigning for either (any) side will be permitted.

No politicians being interviewed on the Today programme. No slogans on buses. No public meetings or demos. No editorial comment.  No T-shirts. No sponsored ads on Facebook.

And no opinion polling.

Responsibility for breaching the campaigning ban will be laid at the head of any organisation, not their minions, and the penalty will be a lengthy prison term.

The only advertising permitted will be to explain the actual process; to encourage registration to vote; and to point out that anyone who does not vote thereby forfeits their right to criticise the government on any matter, ever again.

This role of public information will be handed over to an approved list of National Treasures, the majority of which team will be people not currently involved in either side of the debate. It should however include one or two respected members from Leave and Remain (equal representation.)

In the meantime, government will be permitted to quietly proceed with their preparations for Brexit, eg arranging for emergency transport of supplies. A one-off tax on all forms of personal capital (property ownership, deposit accounts, shares) will be levied to compensate British businesses for the expenses and difficulty of the whole process whichever way it goes.

On the day of the referendum soothing music will be played on all stations.

The above is my dream for 2019…

Happy New Year, and love from the PPI Blogger


  • Clint Redwood

    4th January 2019 at 7:04 pm Reply

    “A one-off tax on all forms of personal capital (property ownership, deposit accounts, shares) will be levied to compensate British businesses for the expenses and difficulty of the whole process whichever way it goes.”

    and who will pick up the bill for all the people mortgaged to the hilt to buy a tiny flat in London who are made homeless by any such tax?

    Better would be to sequester all the assets or messers Cameron, Johnson, Reece-Mogg, Farage etc. who got us in this mess in the first place, and possibly add messers Dacre and Murdoch for facilitating the misinformation.

    Your suggestion punishes the many for the sins of the few.

    And why should you need a >50 majority to overturn an advisory referendum? The original referendum should have required >50% of the total electorate or 66% of those who voted.

  • Stephen Sheridan

    5th January 2019 at 12:06 am Reply

    Aside from the tax – which would be unnecessary (it is the job of the business to make these preparations anyway and those who have most to lose from “no deal” already have anyway, so they don’t need compensation) your second referendum proposal is a moderate and sensible proposal designed to bridge the gap in an innovative way (e.g. the 55% to 60% majority required to overturn the first referendum should satisfy any reasonable leaver).

    Sadly as you say, it is a dream. It would be impossible to find the unbiased “National Treasures” to adjudicate”) and our egocentric, utterly incompetent and mendacious politicians (as they have amply proven themselves to be over the Iraq War, Project Fear 1, the legislation and preparation for the 2016 referendum and innumerable other fiascos) would never be able to organise such an outcome. I would suggest a broader referendum on constitutional reform – abolish the bloated corrupt crony House of Lords and rent out the chamber for expensive dinners, reduce the numbers of MPs, abolish any state funding for parties and limit their funding to a set ceiling per head of membership regardless of the source of funding (e.g. if the party has 100,000 members at a limit of £50 a head, that would limit their expenditure per annum to £5 million). This would incentivise parties to recruit actual members even if those members could not afford the membership fee on an individual basis. Parties would be audited to ensure that their membership rolls were not faked or corrupt (eg paying people to become members) with severe jail and financial penalties for law breakers.
    We could also bring back a variation of ancient Athenian penalties for miscreant elected officials (the Athenians could vote to exile or execute any elected official who had misbehaved), whereby at the next election (to save money on additional votes) a referendum question on the previous Prime Minister would be added with a 60% vote required to inflict a penalty of exile. This would hold previous PM’s accountable for the actions and would concentrate their minds wonderfully (adios Major, Blair, Brown, Cameron, May).

    One can but dream.. 🙂

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