After the surprise result of the BREXIT referendum I’ve seen lots of calls from people that the remainers should just get on board and move on. Well I won’t.
I accept that the leavers got more votes, I don’t accept that they won. Here is why.
This is a major constitutional change from which there is realistically no way back. It will strip from every citizen of the United Kingdom their European Citizenship with huge economic implications for everyone in the UK. Parliament set this referendum up to be advisory, not binding, I assume they did this for a reason.
Now look at what is required for a strike ballot for core services in the UK under the new rules brought in by this government:
At least 50% of members entitled to vote must do so for ballots on industrial action to be valid. Currently balloting rules do not require any specific level of participation by union members.
40% of those eligible to vote must back action for strikes in core public services (Health, Education, Transport & Fire Services). Ballots currently require a simple majority to back action.
So for a strike you need to have 40% of the electorate vote for the action. How can a major constitutional change to the country be less important than a strike?
Then there are the leavers themselves. Farage has been quoted as saying a 52/48 victory for remain would be “unfinished business”. Given the one way nature of leaving this margin is not remotely conclusive. What is sauce for the goose.
Now neither side showered themselves in glory during the campaign but the leavers’ promises started unravelling even before the markets made it clear that the savings they claimed would never be realised . They claimed we could get access to the European market without paying in and without accepting free movement of people. It was clear to many before that this was nonsense but it is even clearer now. Our service economy would be destroyed outside of the market so it is simply inconceivable that any deal without access to the market would be acceptable. The EU know this. Even Germany who export a lot to us won’t let us do a deal. They have all the cards.
Leaving would put the Northern Ireland peace progress in jeopardy and certainly result in Scotland leaving the Union.
It’s now becoming clear that the right wing press were playing games. The EU was a convenient whipping boy about which they could tell lies and use to stir up fear to boost their circulation while they were confident that we would never leave.
You can see this from the utterances of Kelvin Mackenzie . Even he is having second thoughts after voting to leave:
When I put my cross against Leave I felt a surge as though for the first time in my life my vote did count. I had the power.
Four days later I don’t feel quite the same. I have buyer’s remorse. A sense of being careful what you wish for. To be truthful, I am fearful of what lies ahead.
This is after years of spreading fear and bile poisoning any well of good will to the EU.
It’s not just Kelvin. The Telegraph, Mail, Express and even the Sun are suddenly getting cold feet about leaving.
As for the leaders of the leave campaign themselves, they have been shown up for the chancers they are. Johnson and Gove have gone AWOL at a time that should have been their greatest victory. They have no stomach for the insanity that they have inflicted on the country.
The sooner parliament take control and backs away from the advisory result the better. This has inflicted huge damage to the United Kingdom some of which is already irreversible but that does not mean we have to continue down this path.
That said the outcome can not just be ignored. The fact that so many people felt unrepresented in this democracy is a scandal and this needs to lead to real electoral and political reform. It has put paid to the idea that the first past the post system leads to stable and secure government. It needs to go. Then the major parties will not be able to ignore large parts of the country that are not considered marginal seats. Yes we would end up with UKIP or even the BNP in parliament but better there where their misinformation and lies can be held to account.
Also those of us who want to stay in the EU need to stop accepting the jibes of the right wing press and politicians of all colours who would use the EU as an excuse for their failings. We have to stand up and say we are proud to be Europeans and proud of what the EU has achieved. It’s not perfect, nothing ever is, but the EU is the best we have and I’m proud to call myself a Citizen of the European Union.