January 17, 2019 | By Ivo H. Daalder

This Week's Reads: Britain's Holiday from History

Originally published in the Chicago Tribune.

Britain's holiday from history was supposed to end this week. After three years of bitter debate, Prime Minister Theresa May hoped Parliament would back the agreement for Britain's withdrawal from the European Union that she painstakingly negotiated over the past 18 months. On Tuesday, however, Parliament voted 2-to-1 against her deal, a humiliating defeat that leaves the future of Britain's relationship with Europe as unsettled as ever.

The only real option is a do-over — a second referendum, this time with a clear sense of what the option of leaving entails. Polls indicate growing support for remaining in the European Union, though the margins are hardly decisive. The idea that another popular vote is a subversion of democracy, as May has repeatedly claimed, ignores the reality that people have the right to change their mind. In fact, that's what real democracy is all about.

Please continue reading in the Chicago Tribune.

As always, I welcome your thoughts and comments. If you haven't already, click here to subscribe to This Week's Reads.

 

John Major: The Cost of a Bad Brexit Decision Now Is Too Great. Please, Stop and Think

Sir John Major / The Times

Only a new referendum will save Britain from bad deals or a no-deal disaster, but first we need a proper consultation, writes the former Prime Minister.

 

Where Should Britain Go Post-Brexit? Eight Foreign Secretaries Respond

Financial Times

Boris Johnson, David Owen, Margaret Beckett and others share their vision of the country’s future.

 

What’s Worse Than Brexit? This.

Rachel Rizzo / POLITICO

A new referendum could make Theresa May’s current predicament look comfortable.

 

Brexit Brinkmanship: Playing Chicken over Theresa May’s Deal

George Parker and James Blitz / Financial Times

Failure to win Commons approval will intensify the brinkmanship that has left all sides believing they can secure their own outcome.

 

Labour Must Pursue a Better Brexit Deal, Not a Second Referendum

Owen Jones / The Guardian

The "Norway plus" Brexit option, combining the single market and a customs union, has a good chance of winning support across the parliamentary divide.

 

Theresa May Has One Last Throw of the Brexit Dice

Philip Stephens / Financial Times

Having survived the vote of no confidence, the embattled prime minister should reach out to moderate, pro-European Labour MPs who are ready to ditch their own leader.

 

Hold a Second Brexit Referendum

Roger Cohen / The New York Times

All the debate has come up against a stubborn fact: Brexit is damaging to the British national interest.

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