“There’s a strong democratic case for it” – Dominic Cummings on holding a referendum on a Brexit deal

Dominic Cummings may now be Boris Johnson’s top advisor in a government that is resolutely opposed to having a referendum on the terms of Brexit. But what does he think himself?

Well, this is what he said when interviewed a couple of years ago: “there’s a strong democratic case for it”.

Dominic Cummings - there is a strong democratic case for a second referendum

In being a supporter of the idea of a referendum on the exact terms of Brexit once they’ve been negotiated, Dominic Cummings was supporting the same point that Iain Duncan Smith also used to support when talking debating the devolution referendums in Scotland and Wales. Duncan Smith argued then that the details should be settled first and then put to a referendum, so it is the public that gets the final say on exactly what is going to happen.

Past tense though, because what both of then used to say was a good democratic choice they now say is outrageous. Others might think that it’s something else about this which is outrageous…

Hat-tip: @GeorgyBradders, tweeting in 2017.

5 responses to ““There’s a strong democratic case for it” – Dominic Cummings on holding a referendum on a Brexit deal”

  1. This is water under the bridge – along with David Cameron. There is obviously no appetite among the majority of Conservative and Labour politicians for another divisive referendum on the EU. All eyes are on the timing of the next election. ‘Now is not the time for another referendum’ to coin a phrase.

    More to the point, the concept of a second referendum with a ‘New Deal outside the EU’ option pitted against ‘Remain in the EU’ seems to be based on the assumption that the Remain option would be a continuation of the UK’s current EU membership arrangements unchanged.

    I think it is highly likely that the EU’s price for reversing Article 50 would be a reduction or withdrawal of the UK’s budget rebate, pressure to join the Schengen area, some commitment to join the Euro and who know what else? In such circumstances, the Remain package would not look so attractive and the New Deal option might look less risky to an irritated electorate being asked to vote again on something they thought they had already democratically settled. A referendum? Not another one…

  2. Paul W “I think it is highly likely that the EU’s price for reversing Article 50 would be a reduction or withdrawal of the UK’s budget rebate” – that would not happen, Article 50 can be unilaterally revoked and does not need the EU’s permission.

  3. I am offended each time an MPs says ‘the people had a vote’; ‘we must defend democracy’; ‘there was a clear majority'(or eve ‘overwhelming majority’ according to Boris); ‘1.7million blah-blah'(huh-remind me -what’s the population of the UK?)..
    But it will all be settled when there is a general election and the pro-remainers, by virtue of pre-election agreements, all form a majority coalition government.
    Then we can say ‘the majority of people want us to Remain, and the only way to do that and regain our pre-eminence in Europe is to join properly. The £ is at parity, so no problem joining the Euro, Schengen makes good sense for free trade and the movement of people; we establish the migration controls that Tories and Labour never did(so that they could blame EU for the consequences, whilst knowing that the Uk needs the migration) – and all the other pan-EU arrangements that we already have that Pfeffel wants to tear up. And we apply for all the funding that is available for our priority areas, and we advertise that it is EU funding, not try to claim that the govt has found the funds.
    And lets stop talking of ‘them’, let’s refer to ‘mainland Europe’, of which we are one of it many island groups.
    We helped establish the Union, and we wrote or proposed most of the rules and procedures, lets shout about it, requiring our press to carry full-page advert-articles to tell the country what the EU is all about. Explain how the EU is far more democratic than UK(when was the democratic vote to send money to Brazil?).. and establish the case for a full constitutional convention leading to electoral and parliamentary reform.

  4. There is some prospect of a “double whammy” … an autumn election with a Ref2 on the same day, different ballot paper … a clear cut choice between the party of Leave (Cons) versus the coalition of the Remainers (the gang of six) … it would maximise turnout and drive a clear cut result … a fascinating option for the PM

  5. Yes an election and confirm ref on same day in January is best to settle this for now. If no deal is not an option due to national security interest reasons atm, maybe in future, then one policy rexit party no point, no seats, no plans for Nigel.

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