There appear to be two distinct understandings of what the “people’s vote” will be.
The first is that the electorate will get to vote “yes” or “no” to any deal that the government agrees with the E.U. and that Parliament will then either pass the deal into law or not, depending on the result of the vote.
The second understanding is that there will be another referendum in which the electorate will, once again, be asked if they wish to leave or stay in the E.U. and that the result of this second referendum will overrule the result of the first referendum. Although I am certain that if such a second referendum gives a “remain” result the U.K. will remain in the E.U., I am uncertain that another “leave” result will in the U.K. leaving the E.U. My guess is that if the latter happens then Parliament will kick its heals for a year or so and then we will have a third referendum and that this will continue happening until a “remain” result is achieved.
What makes the people’s vote thing extremely confusing is that politicians and the media are using the two understandings interchangeably, often in the same article, interview or speech. I was reading a piece in the Guardian this morning about how Jeremy Corbyn has agreed to back a people’s vote, but I was left with no clear understanding of which of the two types of people’s vote Corbyn was hitching his wagon to. No doubt this lack of clarity is deliberate on his part.