‘Some home truths about Brexit’
Sir, – Bobby McDonagh (“Some home truths about Brexit debate”, Opinion & Analysis, September 19th) is right in saying “the idea that a people can be defined as a percentage of the people is dangerous”.
But he is wrong in stating that “52 per cent of the British people voted leave in 2016”. The percentage was very much lower. There are about 65 or 70 million British citizens, only 17.4 million voted leave, about 50 million did not. Only those on the electoral registers of the United Kingdom and Gibraltar in 2016 were entitled to vote. Countless transient young people (typically would-be remain voters) were left off the registers or had moved far away from their places of registration; between three and four million British citizens living abroad and dependent on rights conferred by their British passports, rights to reside, to work, to travel, to live with their families, had little or no right to vote in the referendum.
And, as Harold Wilson famously said, “A week is a long time in politics”.
Since 2016, a million or more of those who voted have died, a similar number, now in adulthood, were too young to be entitled to vote.
During the last 18 months or more public opinion polls have consistently shown, by several percentage points, a greater preference to remain than to leave. – Yours, etc,