Could Brexit elicit social unrest?

With all that has been happening since the Brexit referendum, it seems to be sometimes forgotten that the UK voted for Brexit on June 23, 2016. Although only 51.89% voted in favour, this was still a majority, set aside against the 48.11% who voted remain. It is also striking which areas of the UK actually voted for Brexit, in some cases overwhelmingly. The most deprived parts of the country were especially striking in voting to leave the European Union.

Collective denial

In light of this, it seems almost with a sense of collective denial, that the political establishment appears to have not recognised this or seemingly choose to ignore it.

I think there are two key points that need to be made. Firstly, is there a virtual conspiracy among the remain elements in Parliament to hijack Brexit and maintain the closest possible pseudo-membership of the European Union by stealth, and to what extent are they prepared to go to destabilise the government. Secondly, is it really serious for the country to face yet another referendum before any final ‘deal’ or decision is agreed? If we believe in democracy, then the initial referendum result is sacrosanct and must be implemented.

We must respect what the majority decided

Are we being naïve in assuming that the electorate, whatever the demographics and socio-economic considerations may be, are trusted to make their own decisions in light of their own experiences and understanding?

Surely we face a highly incendiary situation if we were to qualify this, with the view that they surely didn't realise what they were doing at the time and should be allowed to reconsider, maybe a best of three referendums to get a definitive result!! We must respect what the majority decided, no matter how unpalatable it might be to others.

If the step were to be taken to hold a second referendum, could this not lead to social unrest and a highly polarised situation across the country. What would the premise of a second referendum actually be and would it have actual legitimacy to overturn the original result? Surely the apparent intransigence of EU negotiators and their perceived rough treatment of the UK would hardly have endeared them to UK voters, so the leave vote may actually be considerably higher.

The question then would be, would the political establishment actually accept it? I rather think not. A general election would probably be preferable, however, the main political parties are essentially remainers, so where does that leave the Brexit voter? The answer is either to abstain and then have remain by default, or vote for extremes which we do not surely want to entertain.

Departure arrangements

The Brexit referendum shattered the political consensus, the political establishment has yet to acknowledge this fact and the extent to how much this will affect the main parties for decades to come. We are in a period of change which will not have been seen for decades. Surely the time has arrived to accept the original vote, make the best possible departure arrangements for both sides, without watering down or negating the express will of the British people as a whole to leave the European Union.

If the mandate to leave is properly seen through, the government should not tie us into anything beyond transitional arrangements on a very short-term basis, by March 2020, we should be complete masters of our own destiny.