In June 2016 our country chose to leave the European Union. Described as a "once-in-a-generation" decision, this was the greatest exercise in democracy we have ever seen. And with a clear majority of more than a million, we decided to leave.
Do you remember the official government document sent to every British house, the one who recommends that people vote to stay? It has bold, black and white terms: & # 39; This is your decision. The government will implement what you decide. & # 39;
But now we hear calls for another referendum from those who do not like the result.
Former Tory leader Michael Howard writes: "Many people think that they are treated with contempt by their rulers who neither listen to nor respect their concerns."
This is nothing less than an attempt to undermine democracy, to show contempt for the 17.4 million people who considered the government's advice at the time, and the leaders of the other main parties, and then rejected it.
The stark truth is that the elite in our country, including a large number of MPs, have never accepted the result of the referendum and have searched in every way possible to frustrate the result.
MPs seem to have forgotten that the decision to hold the referendum, a decision by Parliament, delegated the question whether we should leave the EU to the people. And the people have decided well.
Tony Blair (this week in the form of a People & # 39; s Vote speech) insisted that there should be a second referendum on the Brexit because of the & # 39; crisis & # 39; about Theresa May & # 39; s deal
I can not think of anything that brings the basis of our belief in democracy more into disrepute than a decision to hold a second referendum.
The name that those who campaigned use it – a & # 39; popular vote & # 39; – is insincere. If the referendum of 2016 was not People & # 39; s Vote, it is hard to see what it was.
It is true, of course, that the passions on both sides of the gap went high, as in my family. My wife, Sandra, has passionately pleaded for Remain.
That political gap still exists between us, and between many in the country, but there is absolutely no reason to believe that a second referendum would cure it.
On the contrary, I have no doubt that the repetition of all those savage arguments would aggravate and aggravate division.
We know that there is widespread frustration in the developed world with ruling elites. Many people think that they are treated with contempt by their rulers who neither listen to nor respect their concerns.
What a striking confirmation of this criticism would be if our parliamentary elite against the British said: "We do not think you understood what you were doing in 2016. We know better than you. So we are not going to accept the result of your vote. & # 39;
Basically wrong, a second referendum would also be a nightmare in practice. What should be the questions, for example?
Should they include the option to leave according to the conditions agreed between the Prime Minister and the EU? Should they contain the other options currently being searched, such as an agreement called the Norway option?
Howard writes: "The stark truth is that the elite in our country, including a large number of MPs, never accepted the result of the referendum and searched with all possible means to thwart the result & # 39; [File photo]
Should they include the possibility of leaving without an appointment – an outcome that is often described as catastrophic by those who have the potential for arrangements to minimize and possibly eliminate any disruption that may or may not occur?
And would a question about simply returning to the EU also be a reference to probable consequences, such as a refusal to continue our discount on payments won by Margaret Thatcher? Could there even be a requirement to become a member of the euro?
I believe that a second referendum would lead to the same result as the first, and possibly even with a larger margin. But what if it would result in a vote to stay? Would we have a third, on the principle that the best of three should prevail?
For me the arguments against a second referendum are overwhelming, but there is a real risk that anti-democratic forces will get their way. They must be resisted.
We can not risk further disillusionment with the democratic process. Instead, we should leave the EU on 29 March. That would show that, in this country at least, our rulers really respect the will of the people.
Lord Howard of Lympne is former leader of the Conservative Party.
& # 39; We were a split household & # 39;
By Sandra Howard
Sandra Howard, who voted for Remain, writes about a second referendum: & # 39; It would go against the sense of common sense & # 39; [File photo]
With all my heart, I believe that the future of Great Britain lies with Europe, and I voted for Remain. Yet I am shocked by the prospect of a second referendum.
In 2016 we got the ultimate democratic right to determine our future course: to stay in the European Union, benefits and everything, or skedaddle, leaving our 27 neighbors behind to forge closer union on their own.
We made a decision. So now to hear that we & # 39; have to think again & # 39; Seems frankly undemocratic. I can not believe that it would be anything other than division and would lead to a new but even more bitter stalemate.
I know that I am not the only one who thinks so. Recently I went to dinner with some friends, all of them, and one of them said she was upset about the idea of being asked again to stay in the EU.
& # 39; There is no way to consider taking cap in hand to Europe and begging to be reintroduced, & # 39; she told me. & # 39; I'd rather vote to leave. & # 39;
Another friend agreed with that. And if three Remainers feel that way, it is hard to believe that many of those who voted for Brexit can be persuaded to change their minds.
We were a split household. Husband and wife, son and daughter – our four voices have canceled each other.
My husband, Michael, felt that he could not vote to stay; I wanted to be part of Europe, not for economic reasons, but because I did not want us to shrink and become a Little Englanders nation.
I have no problem with the freedom of movement and I suppose that if I am honest, the retention of nurses came into the equation.
Sandra Howard, pictured with husband Michael, says that her family was divided on the issue and their four voices were upsetting each other [File photo]
Michael and I are cheerfully contrived. We will practically divorce if I am five minutes late.
But my side lost and, far from groaning, the Remainers had to think positively and walk to the unknown with as confident a way as possible, which does not have to be a bad job. More than half of the country voted for that course and who knows they may have become wiser heads on their shoulders.
Too many people want a second referendum as a way to arrange things & # 39 ;. They hope and believe that the result would be different this time. They say that it is only fair to make people think again & # 39; after the chaotic mess that politicians make of the job.
There are distasteful murmurs about the number of Leavers who will have died, and I am shocked when other Remainers look at their noses to accuse the Leavers of being less complicated – to say that they are farm kitchens, a bunch of oldies who have to go to grass so that the views of young people can prevail, as they are the ones who are left to bear the costs.
But those & # 39; bumpkin oldsters & # 39; (and they are neither) care about their country and its future just like all my confreres and I do.
No, one time is enough. We can NOT have a second referendum. It would go against the sense of common sense. The country has spoken.