What to do if there's a second EU referendum? Just boycott it...

PETER HITCHENS: A 'People's Vote' would be a disaster. But here's how we can kill it stone dead...

By Peter Hitchens for The Mail on Sunday
13 January 2019

I think there’s now a genuine danger that we may end up having a second referendum on the EU. Huge forces are working on this and will try to get their way in the weeks to come. Prepare for an ambush.

As I opposed the first one, and refused to take part or vote in it, you can imagine just how much I dread and hate the idea of another.

Here is my advice if this horror comes to pass. Boycott it. If such a vote is held, it will have no authority at all as long as enough people simply stay away or spoil their papers. Parliament will then be forced to do what it is paid to do, and put the result of the first referendum into effect.

Peter Hitchens: 'I dread and hate the idea of another referendum

This will mean compromise (I still recommend the Norway option). It will mean a lot of noisy, proud, vain men and women having to give way. They will have to face their voters, and their zealot friends, and say: ‘Sorry, but this is the best we could actually do. It wasn’t as easy as we thought.’

Too bad. If these people do not want responsibility they should not have fought and struggled so hard and so long to become MPs in the first place. Responsibility means telling people the truth, even if it gets you into trouble.

And responsibility involves putting country and people before yourself, and before any faction you might have joined.

Last Monday night’s TV drama on the referendum - "Brexit: The Uncivil War" - showed Benedict Cumberbatch portraying Vote Leave campaign director Dominic Cummings

Professional politicians ran away from the truth about the EU, and a lot of other things, too, for decades. When the discontent got too big, they thought they could dodge their duties by holding the first referendum. But it did not work.

The problem still sits in their lap. If they try to avoid it again they will do permanent, probably fatal, damage to our whole political system, and we will be on the scrabbling, downward slope that leads to Third World politics, like either Venezuela or Hungary.

In my view, the whole thing was only very slightly about the EU anyway.