The referendum to determine whether the UK should remain in, or leave, the EU, has precipitated a crisis of leadership. The Prime Minister has declared his intention to resign, and his Conservative party intend to spend the next several weeks selecting a new leader, and thus Prime Minister, from among their ranks.
The next government will determine the degree and nature of our relationship with Europe in thousands of large and small ways. To allow a few hundred thousand Conservative party members to select the new Prime Minister, and thus the future of this country, would be the height of political irony after a vote by the electorate specifically to "take back control", and is completely unacceptable.
The narrow referendum result, the unprecedented number of signatures on a Parliamentary petition (3.8m at time of writing), hasty backtracking on promises made by 'leave' campaigners in the days since the result, and widespread anecdotes (and now data) of 'leave' voters regretting their vote as the consequences of brexit start to become plain, highlights a strong and uncertain split of opinions as to how, and even if, the UK should separate itself from the EU.
Even were this not the case, while the current government's policies have been invalidated the in/out result returned by the referendum is open to wide interpretation; it fails to specify the nature and degree of separation that should occur. This can't be simply remedied by holding a second referendum, as it's obviously impractical to ask the electorate to answer the dozens of questions necessary to determine precisely what the UK's policy should be.
The government of the day is done, and a new one must be formed with a refreshed and specific mandate to end the current crisis of uncertainty and to lead the country forward. To do this, Parliament should call for a snap general election, and specifically brief the electorate that the representatives they return to Parliament will be the people deciding what happens next — and so they should choose wisely.
If the electorate continue to believe that leaving the EU is in the country's interests, then they will return representatives from the Conservatives, UKIP, and elsewhere with a mandate to enact that separation. Alternatively, if the electorate has concluded that the referendum result was a mistake and they've been sold a bill of goods by the 'leave' campaign, this gives the country a second chance to enact a Great Undo by electing pro-Remain MPs before too much damage is done, and thus credibly reaffirm the UK's full membership and participation in the EU.
This is what should happen next, and soon. Indeed, the current upset in the Labour party as to who should lead them into the next general election is probably because they anticipate that one is imminent.
If you haven't registered to vote yet, now would be a very good time.