, 12 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter
Starting a separate thread on #CitizensAssembly so that the substance doesn't get buried among "welcome" tweets replying to @YellowJacketLa1's first tweet. #yellowjacketlady #YellowJacketWoman But it is a reply to her core point. 1/
The #CitizensAssembly (CA) has been such a successful recent innovation in the Irish constitutional tradition that it has now probably been accepted as an essential prelude to any future referendum in this country. 2/
Because our written, quite detailed and prescriptive 1937 Constitution can only be amended by referendum, we have found the CA is an excellent device for preparing a well-informed vote on controversial/toxic subjects like equal marriage or abortion. 3/
Importantly the CA gives cowardly politicians a fig leaf for doing the right thing. 4/
Maybe that was a cheap shot but, more seriously, the CA does allow politicians to read the will of the people more accurately than the nonsensical faux-binary choice that was the Brexit referendum, where voters had to choose between... 5/
... a widely-misrepresented status quo and an "alternative" which was a bundle of possible (or impossible) outcomes which were not only cynical misrepresentations but mutually contradictory, ranging from cake-and-eat-it to hardcore leave-without-paying-the-bill Brexitgeddon. 6/
The proceedings of our CAs were extensively covered in the MS abd social media, where there was passionate debate/argument, but the CA itself had access to a wide range of expert presentations, and its discussions were conducted with great respect, integrity and sincerity. 7/
As a result, the vote in the CA-prepared referendums reflected quite closely the ratio of opinions in the CA, whereas in previous referendums an apparent clear majority in opinion polls could disappear when it came to the actual vote. 8/
The EU27 would still like to help the UK of the corner it has painted itself into. In what circumstances would it give an A50 deadline extension?

- General election: possibly, but this might just make things worse.

- "People's vote": probably, though this could be...
...nearly as bad, say if it were Remain 50.1%, Leave 49.9%.

- New referendum preceded by a CA: I'm pretty sure they'd jump at it. 10/
For a flavour of what our last CA was like, see this by the outgoing chairwoman: irishtimes.com/news/ireland/i… 11/
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