Opinion today: Burke's case for a second referendum
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A second referendum on Brexit is the hot potato of British politics. The most hardcore supporters of remaining in the EU point out that public support is gradually increasing for a plebiscite on whatever deal Theresa May brings back from Brussels later this year. On the opposite side of the political arena, ardent Leavers think it would be anti-democratic to try and overturn the biggest vote for anything in British history. And a lot of people in the middle just want the question to go away.
Philip Stephens makes the Tory case for another vote in his latest column, citing the thoughts of philosopher Edmund Burke. He once said that “your representative owes you, not his industry only, but his judgment; and he betrays, instead of serving you, if he sacrifices it to your opinion.” Many Conservative MPs feel that Brexit will be damaging for the national interest, so can they bring themselves to vote for a deal that will damage Britain? Will they feel the pull of their Burkean obligations? Or will they go along with Brexit, with a heavy sigh, as they have done until now?
Martin Wolf, on a similar theme, dissects the irredeemable folly of a 'no deal' exit from the EU and the damage it could do to the UK economy.
Marcos de Barros Lisboa, an economist, argues that Brazil desperately needs politicians with the courage to see through structural reforms.
Suzan DelBene, a Democratic member of the House of Representatives, writes that the US must follow in Europe's footsteps with better data protection laws.
What you've been saying
Who are the ‘we’ who voted for Trump? — Letter from Paul Hallwood:
Phillip Hawley (Letters, June 26) says: “Like it or lump it, Trump’s actions are just what we voted for.” Does this mean Mr Hawley was on the electoral college when all of 306 people voted for Donald Trump, thus totally negating the “will of the people” who by a majority of more than 3m voted for Hillary Clinton? I had to laugh when on a recent BBC programme an American political expert referred to the British constitution as “anachronistic”. Come again?
Comment by EnglishRose on Minimum wage laws still fall short for those on the bottom:
The minimum wage for my sons in the UK now is just over £5 (one is working in a London hotel at present on a bit more than that; they are students). We somehow need to remove the state subsidy of housing benefits and tax credits which has kept wages down, try to ensure we don't still have the 240,000 workers coming to the UK that leave each year, and get back to a more natural supply and demand for labour.
A poorer background will teach the value of money — Letter from David Coombs:
Further to Attracta Mooney’s report “Self-analysis will make you a better investor” (FTfm, June 25): the paper co-written by Oleg Chuprinin which finds that fund managers from poorer backgrounds outperform those from richer ones is thought-provoking. While higher barriers of entry into the industry faced by those from poorer backgrounds must have an influence on their superior performance, something also worth considering is the way they have been brought up. Those from poorer backgrounds are more likely to have been raised to demand greater value for money from their purchases than those where financial constraints are less. A child with 50p to spend at the local sweet shop is going to be a more discerning buyer than one with a £10 note. Maybe having to learn the value of money from a young age has led them to be more over-particular when investing their clients’ money.
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