Does a referendum have to be YES or NO? Solving the Brexit problem once and for all

Updated: Aug 9, 2018

I was watching a BBC program called "Brexit: One year to go tonight." Fundamentally the program was trying to answer the question, has the public changed its mind since the 2016 vote about whether or not to stay in the EU?

In the final analysis I think its fair to say that the conclusion was, "its complicated" and "the data cannot answer conclusively". Another way to look at it, was and is a non-binary question asking for a 'yes' or 'no' answer a good way to go about finding a solution. My answer is NO and therefore, to put the same type of question to the electorate would give us again the same non-conclusive answer.

But since the first referendum we know a lot more things which I will come to in a minute, but I want to mention something I recently came across. Apparently the 2011 European Union Act contained something called a Referendum Lock which required any parliamentary changes to the relationship with the EU must be ratified by a referendum. Now think about this for a moment. If by referendum we must come up with a simple 'yes' or 'no' question then we are in essence, doomed from the beginning, because Brexit can never be truly binary.

But if you look up the term 'referendum' in the Oxford, the Cambridge, The Merriams-Webster dictionary more or less agree that a referendum is:

(on something) an occasion when all the people of a country can vote on an important issue

Nowhere does it state it must be Yes or No. Only the Collins, and Chamber's dictionary define referendum as being binary. However, let us assume that if the matter was to go to court in order to resolve the answer to the important Brexit question we need some leeway and it is necessary to take the first definition, then things change. Quite possibly it may require more than one round of voting.

For a start, if democracy is to be applied we need a way to resolve the result when there is no clear (50+%) result. Like a hung parliament we could have a coalition government or alternative we can repeat the referendum but with only two candidates. These would have to be the top two of the answers from round one of the voting, however many we started with. Very similar in fact to the voting system in many democratic countries.

Now consider. We know things now we didn't back in 2016. We know approximately what are the effects and approximately what it will cost us. To all extent and purposes, as the Prime Minister has said, nobody is going to get 100% of what they want. Not the EU, not the Brexiteers and not the Remainers.

Strictly speaking, at this stage we should be at the second stage of voting and perhaps deciding, what do you want, a soft Brexit which we define as being this wonderful deal we negotiated including monetary divorce bill and satisfactory solutions to Ireland and Gibraltar etc. or we crash out taking the full ramifications including possibly being tied up in International courts over Ireland.


we never really resolved round one of the voting because it was expressed wrongly. To the average citizen who was perhaps voted on Brexit based on a single idea, think about how far down the line you have come since the referendum For example.

  • If your a Scottish fisherman and you now have the example of the transition agreement, are you happy with it? Do you really believe that after Brexit you will have complete control of your fishing waters and also a tariff free market to sell to, across the channel?

  • If your a farmer in Wales, do you really believe a government (that has already said they will allow cheaper, tariff free food from abroad) and has squeezed the life out of the police, the NHS, the Social Welfare, affordable housing, the military and God knows who else, is really going to give you the same amounts of subsidy as what you currently get from the EU.

  • If you voted to restrict immigration, did you realize that last year alone there were 75.000 fewer net migrants from the EU, even though there were no restrictions? They are no longer interested in picking our fruit and being Britain's political football. At the same time, the numbers from Asia are up, and those were never under EU restriction.

  • If you voted based on the fact that already you are much poorer than you were before and soon will be even poorer if only by a bit, or you can't afford the housing: can you honestly, hand on heart, say that its the immigrants who are at fault, and not a Tory government that as far as austerity is concerned has totally lost the plot?

  • If you were labour or frankly even further left in your political beliefs, what possible benefits will Tories and parliament give you compared to years of benefits you will lose from a liberal minded Europe?

So let's include a further option. REMAIN



Since you are here, perhaps you would consider signing the petition to return the final vote on Brexit to the people. We now know that nobody can negotiate a decent Brexit! It is an impossibility ... and so what I am suggesting is to put the question back to the people in the form of a final vote on the Brexit deal. Not a necessarily a referendum, because many believe that is a binary tool (actually they are wrong) and this is a non-binary problem. What I am proposing is a vote. To be held in Early November latest, with a three-way question.

  1. Accept whatever deal is being proposed and leave in an orderly manner

  2. Reject the deal and simply leave, opting for the NO DEAL option

  3. Accepting that any Brexit is too detrimental, therefore choosing cancelling Brexit

Consider what could happen. If the vote shows a 50% majority for anybody then the question is settled. If you believe in British democracy, just take the winner, but if you are a true democrat then opt for a second round, just like the rest of the civilized world.

Likely it would not and then, just like the elections in many countries, it goes to a second round, with only the top two options going forward. If the two options don't include staying in the EU then the choice will simply be between hard - soft Brexit (or whatever is your preferred nomenclature for the options.)

Most likely, the result will include staying in the EU and one other. If the other is a hard Brexit, then those who voted 'soft' will be obliged to decide in the second round, either 'stay' in the EU or accept crashing out (a 'hard' Brexit). If on the other hand it is the hard Brexiteers that lose out on the first round they will either have to accept an orderly 'soft' Brexit or 'stay' in the EU. In this way nobody can say this is undemocratic or that they don't have a chance at a Brexit of their choice.

All those who still insist the people have already spoken are doing nothing but risking the entire future of the United Kingdom, from Ireland to Scotland and Gibraltar, from Tory to Labour.


The man in the photo is Lord Kerr. He wrote the Article 50, never once thinking it was his own team that would invoke it. Lord Kerr, a former UK ambassador to the E.U; said Brexiters in May’s cabinet were suggesting Brexit was irreversible and thereby misleading the public.

This former diplomat says the UK could opt to reverse Brexit up to the moment it leaves, even if a date for the country’s departure from European Union were added to the withdrawal bill, as Theresa May plans.

This is the only way to truly know what the people want and to unite the country again. Everybody, knowing the consequences, takes an informed decision. These are the options, this is the price! - DECIDE -.

Ask yourselves, do you really trust a politician, some of whom take donations from the Russians , to take what is almost certainly the most important decision of your and YOUR CHILDREN'S lives for you?

Tell your friends. Tell your family. Tell your fellow students. This sale is only on until March 29th, 2019. (Actually, if a transition period is negotiated it could be longer but I wouldn't risk it). Before Mar 29th 2019, even the EU can't stop a reversal. After that who knows) Vote the way you think and then its in the lap of the gods!

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