PPUK After the Brexit Referendum

Adrian Farrel's picture

Ahoy fellow Pirates.

Regardless of which way you voted, I'm sure you're tired of hearing about the referendum and plundering politicians but PPUK is impacted by many of the issues raised by the process and fact of Brexit.

Transparency in Campaigning

Both the Leave and Remain campaigns were based on lies and fear. Little concrete evidence was supplied and both sides of the debate can carry some blame despite the fact that real information and data was available to researchers. It seems as though the politicians and campaigners were more interested in stirring up emotional responses than in having a measured and constructive debate.

What treatment would we in PPUK like to see for those who lie on a public platform during a referendum campaign? How would we like to see the media held to account? How would we expect information to be presented to the public in future campaigns?

Ridiculing of "Experts"

During the campaign, Michael Gove said: "People in this country have had enough of experts" and this seemed to strike a chord across the voting public.

The PPUK believes in Evidence Driven Democracy and considers that public policy should be established based on evidence. When such evidence is not available it should be collected through careful trials.

Is the problem that experts were proclaiming without supplying evidence? Were people relying on "proof by authority"? Or is the problem that the expert views were inconvenient? How should PPUK react to the disparaging of experts?

Impact on Democracy

Supporters of the victorious Leave campaign have been saying that Remain supporters MUST NOT debate the issues surrounding exit but instead must simply buckle down and help negotiate the exit.

Are all decisions supposed to be closed once made, or can debate continue? Where does that leave opposition to government after a General Election? When is a debate closed, and when is it important to continue to discuss issues and collect evidence?

Value of Referendums

At PPUK, we want to see an increase in participatory democracy which theoretically asks for more referendums and increased polling for opinions, but this poll seems to have been divisive. Furthermore, the margin of the decision was not overwhelming and the application of this small margin to such a large policy decision has not increased the harmony.

What view should PPUK have about thresholds in votes and levels of consensus required for changes in policy?

How should referendum questions be phrased? What activities should be required to prepare the voters? In a parliamentary democracy should referendums be binding or should they be purely advisory (in which case should be made clearer in the run-up to the vote that the Government will listen, be informed, but make its own decision)?

What Next for PPUK?

Whatever our views on the desirability of Brexit, the Government has said that it intends to be bound by the result of the referendum. That means that negotiations for Brexit will take place and there will be many changes to rules and regulations while losing support from EU laws and courts in upholding some of the things that PPUK considers important. It is critical, therefore, that we act to ensure that key rights are enshrined in UK law and that issues we believe are central to our own beliefs form part of the negotiations and the wider discussion around Brexit.

We don't need to debate whether we agree with the decision for Brexit, but we do need to compile a list things we care about and that we want to protect as the exit is negotiated.

We would like to hear from you, our members, on all or any of these issues.

Please find the thread on this topic on the Community Forum pages at http://community.pirateparty.org.uk/ under the title "PPUK After the Brexit Referendum"

Yours piratically,
Adrian Farrel
Board of Governors
Pirate Party UK