Political

Iain Duncan Smith used to back the idea of a second referendum when voters have the details

When Wales voted for devolution in a referendum the early stages of the Tony Blair government, the Conservatives didn’t say ‘ok, Wales has voted so we must do that’. Rather, they continued to fight against it.

What’s more, Conservatives such as Iain Duncan Smith argued in Parliament that it was only fair and sensible to allow people a second referendum vote, once they knew what the exact terms of devolution would be.

As pointed out by the excellent @ByDonkeys account:

Iain Duncan Smith argues in Parliament for a second referendum on Welsh devolution

Iain Duncan Smith’s complaints in Parliament about holding a referendum simply on a general point (devolve or not) without all the detail ready all sounds rather familiar. Just flip it all around to the exact opposite and it’s what he now argues.

Here’s an example extract from Hansard:

What we are in fact asking the people in Scotland and Wales for is a blank cheque; we are asking them to say that the Government may do anything that they wish and that they have their approval.

Such a device has been used many times. It is alien to this country, but in other places, where people want absolute authority, it is used as a rubber stamp for what they may do subsequently. It is alien to the House and the country simply because we have always relied on the scrutiny of Parliament to get into the details.

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