The Bruges Group spearheaded the intellectual battle to win a vote to leave the European Union and, above all, against the emergence of a centralised EU state.

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BBC: The Big Questions Debate

Should the people have the final say on the Brexit deal?​

Three leave campaigners, Chloe Westley of TaxPayers' Alliance, Tom Slater of Spiked, and Bruges Group Director Robert Oulds debated the question of a second referendum on BBC's The Big Questions with Nicky Campell on Sunday 18 March. Advocating for a second referendum was Eloise Todd of Best for Britain, Femi Oluwole of Our Future, Our Choice, and Caroline Lucas MP.

Chloe, Tom, and Robert discussed the elitism of this movement for a second referendum by pointing out that it is not favored by the majority of the people, and by showing that democracy would best be served by MPs and influencers focusing their efforts on attaining the best possible deal for the UK, rather than pushing for this unnecessary second referendum. More people voted to leave the European Union in 2016 than for any other issue in the UK's history, plainly indicating that the will of the people is to leave.

The remainer representatives often cited the unpredictability of the Brexit deal at the time of the referendum. This point ignores the fact, Robert pointed out, that it was made clear by a number of figures that the intention of Brexit was to remove the UK from the single market and customs union.

The issue of a second referendum would also create more complications than it would solve. Besides being undemocratic, there is nothing to say that two will be enough. Yes, people and voters have every right to change their minds, but politics is unable to, and is not intended to, capture every whim or change of heart of the electorate. It instead responds to the trends and currents of thought – and the 2016 referendum, with its turnout and impact, did just that. The people voted to leave the European Union, so MPs must focus their efforts on following through and getting the best possible deal for the UK.

Ultimately, Chloe, Tom, and Robert advocated for an inclusive, forward-looking philosophy. The UK is in a position to forge a new and better future for itself, and attempting to reverse past votes is unproductive. Those who voted to leave and those who voted to remain must unify and work towards the future for which the people asked.

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Sunday, 20 January 2019