The ground is shifting, and Brexiters, such as Dominic Raab, are getting nervous: “The public have spoken; we should respect the result and get on with it, not try to find new hurdles that undermine the democratic process,” he says. But what kind of democracy is that, with just one lifelong vote – immutable, however many people review the altered facts and change their mind?
Remainers, meanwhile, like Labour’s shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry, feel the stirrings of an opportunity. She is the first Labour frontbencher to open the door to a second referendum. Others, John Major and Tony Blair included, press for a second vote so citizens can approve the final deal. How wise that sounds: lay out the facts, explain the complexities and let the people decide.
But has no one learned the lesson of the last referendum? Never again, is what we learned, for how could a second referendum in what would probably be an even nastier atmosphere improve the national debate? How would it not, once again, be hijacked by lies?
We saw the last time how moderate, rational people of all parties who campaigned for remain failed to come to terms with the post-fact, post-truth, emoto-politics, where what you identify with trumps all else. We saw how the sight of a far-right tectonic shift, the deployment of terrifying statistics and the fire-alarm warnings from trustworthy experts all proved irrelevant to the 52% who wanted just one thing – out, as a badge, as a state of being, as a national identity and as sovereign freedom from foreigners in Brussels or over here.
So, not even one vote then as you peasants might vote the wrong way.