Haass: A second Brexit poll is needed. “Electorate should be given second chance now realities are apparent”

Posted By: September 28, 2017

Distributed by Irish National Caucus

“When  Richard Haas speaks on Northern Ireland, people should listen.Richard has done very good work over the years on The North. He speaks with authority, is a most credible man, and one of America’s finest foreign policy specialists.”— Fr. Sean McManus

John Manley. Irish News. Belfast. Thursday, September 28, 2017

THE UK should hold a second referendum on EU membership, former US special envoy Richard Haass has told The Irish News.

The president of the Council on Foreign Relations think tank said the realities of Brexit were now “much more apparent” and the electorate needed a “second chance”.

Earlier this week, London mayor Sadiq Khan said Labour may support a second referendum.

Fine Gael also joined the Republic’s Labour Party in calling for another vote.

Senator Neale Richmond said allowing people to “accept or reject any final deal” between the EU and UK was “the right way forward”.

Dr. Haass, who in the autumn of 2013 chaired a round of talks between Stormont’s five main parties, said “nowhere is it chiseled in stone” that only one referendum should take place.

“This is not a policy but the country’s future and given how consequential it is and how lasting its impact will be, I think you need to give the people another chance to weigh in – if they reaffirm it, so be it.”

The former special envoy said he believes leaving the EU “can’t be good for Northern Ireland” as it will signal a “whole new wave of uncertainty” about the border.

He also suggested that unionists may have shot themselves in the foot by backing Brexit when it could actually increase the possibility of a united Ireland.

“Unionists, who presumably would most oppose Northern Ireland leaving the UK and joining Ireland, favored Brexit – that to me is an obvious example of how people were not thinking about the first and second order consequences of what they were voting for,” he said.