It may have been a golfer’s joke, but there are also those who are serious about the idea. Apparently, lots of folks are already regretting their vote. Enough people to sway the results of the referendum? Who knows!1

Then again, why not take a mulligan? It’s not like it’s that hard. We do elections all the time. Just get everyone back together in a week or two and try again.

It’d be expensive.

So would exiting the EU. By a significantly larger margin.

It’s not even a contest. A UK Treasury report estimated that a Brexit would result in the UK’s GDP being “6.2% lower than it would otherwise have been by 2030,” or around $6,000 per household. That’s a lot. Multiply that by the population of the UK, and again by fifteen years, and it’s a lot more. Even if that math isn’t perfect, I hope you get the idea.

If the cost of averting all that loss is merely the price of running another referendum, that’s an amazing investment. It’d rank up there among the best investments in UK history, if not world history, period.

The people have already made their will known.

This argument makes no sense to me. If Brexit really is the will of the people, what’s the risk of running another referendum? They’ll just make their will doubly known. Huzzah huzzah.

And if the result of the second referendum is to stay in the EU? Then, I mean, _whew_—right? We really dodged a bullet there!

Think about it this way: Brexit is an enormous decision, impacting directly millions of Britons and indirectly impacting pretty much everyone else on the planet. So I don’t see why it’s unreasonable to insist that we (they) get it right.

If we run another referendum and Brexit wins again, what’s to stop us from running a third? Or a fourth? Where will the madness stop?

Simple: with the second referendum. Period. No more sour grapes after that. Everyone goes into it knowing that it’s for realsies this time.

Calling for a re-vote would be unprecedented!

So is leaving the EU. So what? Unprecedented stuff happens all the time.

You’re only calling for a re-vote because the referendum turned out opposite how you wanted it to. You’d never ask for a re-vote if the UK voted to stay in the EU.

That may be true, to an extent. On the other hand, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to say that, in cases were there’s significant uncertainty as to whether a particular course of action is better than the status quo, it’s best to stick to the status quo.

But, fine: let’s imagine an alternate universe where Brexit was voted down, and all the pro-Brexiters started calling for a re-vote. Even in this case, I’m not convinced I’d be against a re-vote. To paraphrase what I argued above: It’s Important To Get These Things Right.

I’d need to be convinced that a second referendum would be a sound financial investment, though.

  1. Probably not, though, just speaking realistically (or cynically).