Some people might think it is not worth voting in these European elections as the referendum vote means we are going to leave, so why bother? However, a lot of people see this as a proxy for a second referendum and a way of showing support for staying in Europe.
Why would people like us, who believe in democracy, want to overturn “the will of the people” and stay in Europe?
The UK voted to leave the EU in the 2016 referendum by a narrow margin of 2%. The Venice Commission Code of Good Practice on Referendums, to which the UK is a signatory, states that when a referendum is on a matter of principle and is a general question it should be advisory. In that referendum in 2016 there was nothing specific about what leave meant – soft or hard Brexit; customs union: yes/no; deal or no deal. And the referendum was indeed only advisory and not legally binding so there is a moral case for not acting on such a slim margin for something that is so divisive.
Since June last year, the WhatUKThinks poll of polls has consistently shown that more people think we got the vote to leave wrong than thought we got it right and, if we had another referendum tomorrow, Remain would win by 4% - a shift of 6 percentage points since 2016. In view of this, the democratic response can only be a people’s vote on the final agreement.
So, I am going to vote because we have not left the EU yet and we still may not. We need to vote for the people who will best represent our views on all the things that the EU does to affect our lives. The EU has put together a toolkit by region of what the EU has done to impact the area where we live, our lives and the way we live as a community from migration to climate change https://www.what-europe-does-for-me.eu/en/portal.
Finally, I am also going to vote because it feels good. I always come away from voting with a smile on my face proud that I haven’t wasted the opportunity to use the vote that women in the past fought so hard to achieve.