Chakrabarti, Labour shadow attorney general:     
People's vote may NOT be justified. CONTRADICTED       

INIREF Campaign for better democracy GB
4th April 2019

S. Chakrabarti, House of Lords.
UK press and social media, political parties, trade unions and others

Baroness Shadow Attorney General Shami Chakrabarti suggested today (4th April 2019) (3) that another public vote would NOT be justified if Labour and the Government could agree a deal on quitting the European Union.

In the UK political parties seldom, if ever, support thematic (direct) democracy. Their attitude to direct rule by the people has mainly been antagonistic, sometimes opportunistic on occasions when they have, rarely, "allowed" the people to vote in an advisory referendum. This applies especially to larger political parties which strive for or have tasted the power of controlling, ruling a country. They wish to rule and not to be supervised or mandated by the rightly sovereign electorate.

In the face of "brexit", the Labour party leadership has so far retained and displayed the above sort of attitude to a referendum on the final deal. 

We ask them to re-consider their position on another "brexit" referendum, and make the following seven points and requests: (see )

Please note especially the following two points:

A UK general election for such an issue cannot permit the required democratic focus and precision.

A general election covers many issues, it could not remove the need for a new referendum.

Extract from:
9th September 2018
Open Letter to the Labour Party about their handling of "brexit" and the matter of a new referendum or "people's vote".

6. Please respect democracy and the constitutional sovereignty of the electorate. The following shows that you intend to toy with our democratic rights:

"... Labour has made clear a new Brexit referendum is possible if parliament rejects Theresa May's agreement with the EU or if a no-deal exit is looming." (2). It appears you suggest that the electorate might be "allowed" another brexit vote only if parliament has voted to reject the government's worked out deal with the EU. 
The people must be enabled (well in advance to permit preparation and deliberation of the issue) to take the final decision which means deciding to accept the government's ("hard or soft" or medium!) brexit proposal (one which has been accepted by the EU)  versus remaining in the EU. The binding ballot must be held after the UK's parliament and government have each given a verdict.

7. A UK general election for such an issue cannot permit the required focus and precision. A general election although unlikely might be held before we are due to leave the EU and so there could be a new government of different political hue. These events would by no means obviate the need for a UK plebiscite about "brexit". Of course the Labour Party longs for an election in order to take over from the conservatives. But in addition we all need a high quality, well-considered and deliberated referendum. So, in this case, as a Party, you CAN have your cake and eat it too!

Brief brexit background from a democratic perspective

The 2016 ballot in effect mandated the government to negotiate. Little was known about the meaning and effects of leaving the EU. The people, who gave this mandate by a narrow margin, in a partly mendacious campaign and with a gerrymandered referendum franchise (b), have a right to decide if they want to accept or reject the government's final brexit "deal". Only a new referendum can enable an effective and accurate decision about this.The most important reason for holding another "brexit" referendum is apparently not understood or is rejected by many politicians. This reason is: The electorate should be enabled to decide, in a single-issue ballot, whether the final negotiated terms and conditions for leaving the EU are acceptable or not. 

A general election covers many issues, it could not remove the need for a new referendum.


1. see

2. Joe Watts,  Political Editor Thursday 23 August 2018 The Independent.
Brexit: Labour says new referendum possible if May's deal is rejected by parliament

3. "Chakrabarti: Second referendum or General Election 'very likely'". 4.4.2019 Remarks on BBC Radio 4 Today programme apparently reported by Evening Standard