On 27 November 2018 we held a session at the House of Commons on "The Practicalities of a Further Referendum on Brexit". It was a rich and fascinating discussion, with in-depth analysis from Professor Meg Russell of the UCL Constitution Unit (the leading independent authority on a further Brexit referendum) and great political insights from our panel: Dominic Grieve QC MP, Baroness Helena Kennedy QC and David Lammy MP. Helen Mountfield QC skilfully chaired the event. We thank them all for their contributions.
Expertly set out by Professor Russell, the central questions and Panel discussions revolved around the length of time needed to organise a referendum the possibility of securing EU27 support to extend Article 50; and what could trigger a further Brexit referendum. Professor Russell placed great emphasis on the criteria to be used in deciding what questions should be asked, highlighting the importance of the viability of the question, and its clarity. Now that there is a proposed Brexit deal for consideration, the panel thought that this would influence MP’s views of what options met the criteria.
For credibility, Professor Russell’s Report recommended that the rules governing the People’s Vote should be kept close to those of the 2016 referendum, but with a tightening of those governing digital campaigning.
The announcement of the meaningful vote on 11 December focussed the panel’s attention on how a People's Vote can offer a way forward for politicians.
Dominic Grieve QC: "... A better outcome is for the Government to accept that Parliament can and will legislate for a further referendum."
David Lammy: "The best way out is for [the Prime Minister] to call a People's Vote."
You can read our Twitter summary of the event here. Professor Russell's report is available to download here. Or you can find below a new five-minute video from Professor Russell, entitled, "A second Brexit referendum: how would it work”.