James Forsyth

Change UK’s latest transformation is its worst yet

Change UK's latest transformation is its worst yet
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As Change UK struggle for relevance, they have become a Revoke party. This is a significant shift from being a second referendum party. One might disagree with having a second referendum before the result of the first one has even been implemented; but there would be a check on the decision through the fact that the public would get to have a say before their previous vote was discarded. Parliament simply revoking Article 50, though, would be a fundamental breach of faith with the electorate. It would do untold damage to the democratic fabric of this country.

Change UK’s argument, as made by Chuka Umunna on the Marr Show yesterday, is that there isn’t time for a second referendum now and that they would seek to have one after having revoked Article 50. I suspect a referendum held in those circumstances would result in a leave victory.

There is a lot of talk, understandably so, of the economic complications of no-deal Brexit. It is not something that anyone should embark on lightly; it would be better to leave with a workable deal. But the democratic damage that simply revoking Article 50 would do, would take much longer to recover from than the economic dislocation that no deal would cause.