A second EU referendum… A threat to democracy?

By: Megan Speakman, Student Voices writer


 As the result of the Thursday’s referendum came in, it seemed that Britain had chosen to leave the European Union… or did it? Many young voters were left angry and disappointed, claiming that their future had been stolen by the older generation. We saw a variety of extreme emotions, almost as if young voters were struggling with grief. It began with denial and complete shock. Having reached the second stage, anger, young voters took to social media expressing their disappointment in Brexit voters and on Friday afternoon came the call for a second EU referendum.

At first this petition was not being taken seriously, but as the number grew to more than 3 million, it began to be discussed by MPs in the media. Now many senior politicians have backed the idea of a new poll, with Tony Blair stating “why rule it out?” and Nicola Sturgeon claiming that her MPs may try to block the withdrawal. David Lammy, a labour MP, also called for a second EU referendum, explaining that the “The consequences of Brexit are too grave.”

But would a second referendum question the very idea of democracy? The majority of the country voted to leave, and although many were left disheartened, if we begin holding secondary votes until we achieve the “right answer,” surely this undermines our legal system and the legitimacy of a referendum?  All that we can do is hope that the hot-headed remain voters eventually calm down and reach the final stage of grief, acceptance. Ultimately, Britain has spoken and we must acknowledge that sometimes the vote does not go our way, and we must accept that in order to stabilize our country in these turbulent times.


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