Letter: This is why I think a second referendum is the only answer
I should like to address some of the points raised in Geraldine Jones’ letter (Sheffield Telegraph, September 26).
By “brainwashing” I assume she is referring to predictions that leaving the EU without a deal would be disastrous for the country. These predictions come not from politically-motivated organisations but impartial sources such as the CBI, the NHS, universities, the Bank of England, and not least Operation Yellowhammer, commissioned by the government.
Far from being biased against Brexit, most newspapers are strongly in favour of it, the only exceptions being the Guardian, Observer, Independent and Mirror.
The threat of no deal would never work as a bargaining tool, as the EU is well aware that it would be a far more damaging to us than to them. We are expected to believe that the threat is so great that it will persuade the EU to agree to what we want, but at the same time that the consequences have been exaggerated and we have nothing to fear. They can’t have it both ways.
According to David Cameron, who knows Boris Johnson as well as anyone, he is not at all a true believer in Brexit, but just chose to adopt this stance to further his career.
It is wishful thinking that we could have gone through the “unpredictable, risky period” if we had left the EU sooner. The withdrawal agreement, the only part that has covered in the negotiations so far, is supposedly the easy part: the really difficult part is negotiating new trade deals, which is estimated to take ten years or more; without a deal it would take even longer and be even more difficult.
The fact that it has not been possible to withdraw from the EU by now merely goes to show how difficult and complex the process is. Although I have plenty of criticisms of Theresa May’s approach, the main reason why she hasn’t managed to get a deal that Parliament will agree to is that she was trying to do the impossible, of keeping the benefits of belonging to the EU without the disadvantages.
Finally, I wonder why people like Ms Rhodes are still so keen for us to leave. The only argument I seem to hear these days is that the majority voted for it in a referendum. This is not in itself a good reason for going ahead: in any other important decision, you have the opportunity to change your mind in the light of new information. This is why I think a second referendum is the only answer: if, despite all we have learned in the last few years, the majority still want to leave, I am sure most Remainers would accept this.