Some days ago The Independent newspaper ran an editorial and a number of associated articles which were calling for a second referendum on Brexit. Despite the many protestations in this editorial, it was exactly what it said it wasn’t and is a total disgrace because behind it all lies the arrogant assumption that those who voted to leave the EU were both ignorant and stupid.
At its heart is an unwillingness to accept the majority decision and that is unacceptable because first past the post is the system we live under and secondly, if the majority had been for Remain, they wouldn’t accept a second referendum either.
Posting a Comment
The Independent is a left wing, anti Tory paper at the best of times which like the FT and The Economist, revels in reporting any possible ‘problems’ concerning Brexit and the surrounding negotiations, real or not, their problem is that they just won’t accept the majority decision. As with all such papers be they left or right leaning, they will attract a core constituency of people who like to read what they like to say because it reinforces their own prejudices, the Independent is no different.
So for fun, I posted the following comment which attracted only one comment from someone who felt that leaving the EU meant the privatisation of the NHS and frankly was all a bit demented about it all. This was quite amusing because normally posting such “Leaver” sentiments on the Independent would ensure a great outcry in the Comments but not apparently this time !
The whole point of this article is exactly what it says it isn’t, it is an arrogant plea for setting aside the result, it is the “We know best” of any Dictator supported by a metropolitan elite that thinks being part of the EU works for them personally.
I would be happy if people especially though not exclusively on the Remain side, stopped insulting the Leavers, stood back and realised that at over 17 million, they could not all be “Old, stupid, lacking an education or economically left behind”.
Also, these self same people were experienced in political campaigns and certainly didn’t believe in “£350 million per week for the NHS”, in fact I doubt that the majority voted for anything more than just “Change”. Or if you prefer, “We don’t think this works for us or our children”. They were voting against not just the EU but all the pompous people who tell you what to do and yet clearly know no better than you. You know the people, the ones who didn’t see the last economic crash coming and won’t see the next either before it has happened.
In practical terms there really is no going back, we can only go forward. Firstly we have “broken trust” with the EU as far as they are concerned because they never imagined that any country would leave as the Article 50 process shows, it hardly seems fit for purpose. There is no possible mechanism apart via a vote in Parliament and that would be very undermining of our democracy, where the result can be put aside this hand must be played to the end.
There is something else you are missing, momentum (not the Labour creature), or velocity. Whatever you can imagine, another referendum, a reversal of the result in Parliament and inevitably a General Election, fought on totally dishonest platforms. There is no process that can happen faster than getting through the Brexit negotiations as currently laid out. The political and social upheaval and damage to the British body politic would be long lasting and economically damaging. It is now far too late to change course.
Will Brexit work ? Of course it will in one way or another and we should all ignore the screaming of vested interests. An example is the City, “Jobs will be lost to the Continent” I’m sure that some will but the majority will not and the reason ? If those jobs were easy to move, they would have gone to Paris and Frankfurt long since whilst we were in the EU and that pretty much goes for most things that are not specifically EU institutions.
So cheer up and let’s get on with it and make it work as best it may and leave behind any thoughts of changing the result, we must all be true to the process of our democracy. If the vote had gone the other way, you would be outraged at such an editorial.
My main point is that reversing the decision would be totally damaging to the standing and trust in our political institutions by the public if by an Act of Parliament the result of the referendum was set aside. And it would have to be an Act of Parliament because Gina Miller winning her case to force a vote in Parliament led to an ‘advisory’ and non binding referendum result being enshrined in UK Law by an Act of Parliament.
The problem is that if as is the case the public have voted on this issue in a referendum, the only logical way that they can be asked to reconsider that decision is via a general election, would sitting MPs want to risk that ?
Left to their own devices, a majority of sitting MPs would vote for Remain and if they were to threaten such a thing, a petition to the Queen to dissolve Parliament would be sure to be forthcoming which would potentially pitch us into a constitutional crisis. What is certain though is that divisions between Leave and Remain would widen on the issue and if a new general election was fought under such circumstances, Lord knows where we might all end up.
There is also the pressure of time, Article 50 has been triggered the process completes in 15 months time. There is insufficient time to do a rerun, accept the result and negotiate the consequences with the EU one way or the other. The fastest and cleanest way of resolving this issue is by completing the path we are on which means keeping the Conservatives in power and Mrs May in Downing Street.