Letter: Decision making in referendums

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Sir,

A people’s vote on holding a referendum on the Brexit deal would set a precedent in the eventuality of a vote for Scottish independence.

The circumstances are completely different.

David Cameron announced the date for the EU referendum in February 2016, with the referendum itself held on June 23, a mere four months later.

The referendum campaign lasted a matter of weeks, trying to get across what were often highly complex issues, against a background of half-truths and disinformation.

Remember the £350 million on the side of a bus and spending irregularities?

There was no clear idea of what Brexit actually meant, with those campaigning for leave promoting often contradictory views.

The electorate was  presented with a blank sheet of paper, acting on blind faith as to what Brexit meant.

The Scottish independence referendum date was announced in March 2013, a year and a half before the actual vote.

The electorate fully debated the key issues.

In November 2013, the Scottish government published Scotland’s Future, a 670-page white paper laying out the case for independence and the means through which Scotland might become an independent country.

Contrast this with the Brexit campaign.

The concern of some in the SNP can be shared, but it should be noted that the circumstances for a people’s vote are very different from an independence referendum.

Ultimately the public has a right to change its mind, that’s democracy.

Many did not know what they were voting for when it came to the EU referendum and I doubt many voted to make themselves poorer, with the continuing negative impact on our economy and society.

Alex Orr,

Edinburgh.