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“Shocking misinformation” over Brexit should lead to a second vote, says Aberdeen academic

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A campaign of misinformation in the EU referendum means voters must get the chance to reconsider Brexit, according to a Aberdeen University professor.

Professor Anne Glover said a second referendum should be held once Brexit negotiations are finished and its impact known.

Prof Glover and her colleague Professor Isobel Murray are both among 60 leading Scots who have signed an open letter calling for Brexit to be halted.

The university’s vice-principal of external affairs and dean for Europe said she did not believe voters were able to make an informed choice in the first EU referendum.

She said: “I signed the letter because I think people voted without any real information.

“The original vote was shocking — It has now become acceptable for people in public office to lie.

“Once the terms and conditions of leaving the EU are made clear I think it is right and proper in a democracy we should vote again.

“We do need another referendum with information and not misinformation.”

Biologist Prof Glover said the impact of Brexit on people’s everyday lives through damage to the UK’s international scientific work would be extremely damaging.

She said: “Every single person depends on our international scientific links for health, travel, communication, safe food, safe water and safe air.

“Our links with the EU scientific community fundamentally underpins our economy and anything that reduces our ability to work with the best scientific minds in the world reduces the influence we will have.”

Those signing the letter include former Scottish First Minister Henry McLeish, Friends of the Earth Scotland director Richard Dixon and historians Professor Tom Devine and Professor Chris Smout.

The letter states: “We see our society, economy and politics becoming ever more undermined due to the impact of Brexit.

“We recognise a narrow majority voted to leave the European Union, but the disastrous consequences are now becoming ever clearer – every day.

“Even before the UK has left the EU, we face falling living standards, rising inflation, slowing growth and lower productivity.”

Signatories said it was every UK citizen’s democratic right to have their say on the final Brexit deal.

They said: “In a democracy, it is always possible to think again and to choose a different direction.

“We need to think again about Brexit, to have a UK-wide debate about calling a halt to the process and changing our minds.”

But a UK Government Brexit spokesman said: “In one of the biggest democratic exercises in our history, the British people voted to leave the European Union.

“The government is committed to delivering on that mandate, by building a new deep and special partnership with our closest allies and neighbours in Europe.”

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