‘Brexit: enduring fantasies’

Sir, – In Saturday's leading article "The Irish Times view on Brexit: enduring fantasies" (June 1st), you stated that "barely a third of the [UK] electorate voted for parties endorsing a no-deal and those backing a second referendum out-polled Brexit hardliners".

Only one party of consequence campaigned on the single ticket of gunning for a no-deal Brexit, namely, the Brexit Party, which obtained 5,248,533 votes. A total of 17,199,701 votes were cast, giving the Brexit party 30.51 per cent of the vote, set against all the rest.

Among all the rest, none of any consequence stood only on the single ticket of a second referendum.

You are not comparing like with like. For example, a voter voting for the Green Party of England and Wales (1,881,306 votes) may have done so primarily because of that party’s stance on the climate, on which matter the Brexit Party has no formalised policy. That person could perfectly easily have been a “Brexit hardliner” also (as such people come from every corner of the political spectrum, as can be seen from Tony Benn’s face featuring favourably in Brexit Party propaganda and its disparate candidate list) but saw climate issues as far more important than Brexit.


The truth is that a hard caucus of convinced no-deal Brexiteers made up 30-odd per cent of the vote (so, less than your “barely a third”).

Among the rest no worthwhile group with an equivalent opinion on a second referendum can be identified in the results. All we have to go on is Margaret Georgiadou’s petition “Revoke Article 50 and remain in the EU”, which commenced in February and has at the moment 6,086,326 signatures, this on the basis that support for a second referendum means hope for the revocation of Brexit – a reasonable assumption. However, 6,086,326 signatures culled over three months by a click or two and a quick confirmatory email is not the equivalent of 6,086,326 votes with the feet and a pencil submitted in one day. How those signatures rate against 5,248,533 votes in a ballot box we can only guess.

My own guess is that convinced, hard-nosed Remainers among the UK electorate are far fewer than their hard-Brexit equivalents.

However, they are very vocal, are disproportionately represented in the House of Commons and have a powerful ally in what is known as “big money” – the world of the corporate giant.

On the premise that democracy is a codified form of rule by the mob, their gathering though will not achieve “the only alternative option on the table” in the form of a second referendum for which your leader writer hopes.

If one party had stood solely for revocation, then we would have a clearer idea. However, no party was thus formed. The closest to it was Change UK – The Independent Group. Their 571,846 votes comprised 3.32 per cent of the total, or 10.89 per cent of the Brexit Party’s.

“Ye are many – they are few”, as Shelley put it. – Yours, etc,



Co Galway.

Sir, – In every challenge we approach there are three options on how to act. The UK parliament and its people have these same choices still where Brexit is concerned. They can choose to do more by trying to reopen the negotiations with Europe. The indications are that this won’t get them anywhere near where they want to go. They can do nothing and wait for the no-deal Brexit that will expose the weak and the vulnerable people and businesses to the harsh realities and consequences of World Trade Organisation trading rules. This would be reckless and could see extreme socialism take hold to deal with the probable hardship and poverty. Or they can choose the third option. They can choose to do less, to take a step back from the precipice, cancel Brexit for now and wait for wiser heads to find a solution in the future.

Only the third option offers the UK the chance to save itself from self-inflicted harm. – Yours, etc,



Co Wicklow.