Image may contain: Bead, Accessories, Parade, Crowd, Person, People, Human

We asked Sheffield students what they think about a People’s Vote on Brexit

The People’s Vote, yes or no?

Brexit. Brexshit. Brexshite. A failure. A success. The end of the world, the beginning of a better future.

Britain’s infamous exit from the European Union has taken on a number of different monikers. In all its forms, the term “Brexit” has become a part of our national furniture and has been the making or breaking of countless lives across the country. For many, family Christmases will never be the same again.

In recent weeks, one particular element of the Brexit fiasco has shoved its way to the forefront of the debate; The People’s Vote.

On 20th October, hundreds of thousands of protesters marched in London calling for a People’s Vote on the Brexit deal. While there is still debate as to exactly how many people were present (staunch Twitter conspiracists claim there was 120,000 while a Spanish publication suggested 1 million) it is safe to say that there were plenty.

“What is a People’s Vote?” you ask.

Well, the premise behind the People’s Vote is; whatever exit concoction Theresa May and her crew can muddle together, the people of Britain should be able to see the deal and make their own judgements about whether that is the Brexit they voted on in 2016. If it isn’t what we want, we should be able to say no.

The argument is a contentious one.

The vast majority of Leave voters believe that the People’s Vote is the Trojan horse of the Remoaner campaign and a badly masked attempt at a second referendum.

Others regard the People’s Vote as the final bastion of Britain’s democracy and a symbol of political justice. In the two years since the vote, information has come to light that has irrevocably changed the landscape around Britain’s exit from the EU and this has affected the way people feel and we should be able to vote on Brexit again.

As David Davis famously said, “If a democracy cannot change its mind, it ceases to be a democracy”.

Conversely, there are people in both camps that view the idea of a People’s Vote as the exact opposite of a democratic move. For some, re-running any sort of vote regarding the Brexit issue undermines the concept of democracy.

Minesh Parekh, the Treasurer for Sheffield Labour Students, takes this standpoint. Although he campaigned for Remain in 2016 and views Brexit as a less than optimal outcome, he also thinks that holding a People’s Vote is not the right solution and focus should be turned elsewhere.

Speaking to The Tab, he said: “I think it dismisses and trivialises the opinions of millions of people who voted in both directions, I voted Remain and millions of people voted leave as well.

“To throw millions of people’s voices under the bus, just because something has happened in a way you don’t think it should is not the way democracy should be conducted.”

He added: “I’d rather campaign for a second general election to decide who carries out Brexit rather than give Theresa May the legitimacy of her Brexit deal.”

Political groups are openly divided on the issue, Conservatives and Labour alike.

Ed, a volunteer for leftist campaign group Another Europe Is Possible, initially voted Leave in the first referendum. Blaming his first decision on political disenchantment and shoddy campaigning by party leaders, Ed said that events of the past two years have made him change his mind.

He said: “I think we have begun to see what Brexit means, essentially, and how the government have intended to push it through. It is a clear intention to push us further and further away from the left-wing ideals that I believe in, in order to make borders less permeable, to make borders harder and make it increasingly easier to privatise the NHS.”

He added that, in an ideal situation, there would be a vote on the final deal “giving people a final say in the same way that MPs are given a final say on what that deal should look like.”

It goes without saying that Brexit is going to have a life-changing effect on students in the UK, but what do students in Sheffield think?

We had a wander around campus and asked students in Sheffield their thoughts on Brexit as a whole and whether there should be a People’s Vote on the final Brexit deal.