What does respecting ‘the will of the people’ mean?
Those in favour of an extreme Brexit claim that they are respecting the will of the people. They are not.
The Brexit referendum in 2016 posed a simple question – should the UK leave the EU? The answer was yes we should – by a small majority. The referendum was explicitly advisory in nature; not binding on parliament.
Democracy did not end in June 2016. Since then we have had an election that the Prime Minister fought explicitly on seeking a mandate for her version of an extreme Brexit. The electorate rejected that request and deprived Mrs May on her majority. There is no mandate for the vision of Brexit that Mrs May outlined.
We live in a representative democracy and it is up to parliament to interpret and to decide. Those arguing for a hard Brexit and using the referendum result as its justification are hypocrites. They are hiding behind a referendum that did not specify the nature of the desired Brexit to indulge in their own ideological dislike of the European Union and Britain’s place in it.
They seem to care nothing for the economic and personal damage that might hit millions of Britons at home and abroad as a result. As we have said previously, there is nothing ‘democratic’ about this stance. It is, in fact, closer to the behaviour of those with authoritarian tendencies.
Thankfully, cooler heads within the cabinet seem to be prevailing – slowly and a transitional period seems to be on the cards.
What is surprising is that those outside the Conservative Party who oppose a hard Brexit are still not making the running. They are failing to hold the government to account and demanding that ‘the will of the people’ be respected as indicated by the combined results of the referendum and the recent election.
They continue to make purely technical and practical arguments. The pro-EU factions in the country seem utterly unable to engage the electorate effectively and generate the sort of anger and political backlash that is required.
The pro-EU groups failed in the referendum campaign. As our social media analysis showed, they failed after the referendum. And they seem to be failing again now. The sheer incompetence is depressing.
Dave Boorman says
It has been abundantly clear from the very start of the referendum and Brexit debacle that the only logical choice to make in terms of the countries best interests economically and politically is remaining in the EU. We elect our MPs to make decisions that are in the best interests of the country even when these are unpopular. Instead of standing up and arguing for the case to remain and the huge benefits we derive from our present privileged position. Hiding behind the fallacy that leaving the EU is the ‘will of the people’ is an act of cowardice and a dereliction of duty!
Neil Armstrong says
Yes exactly The Maybot & others are TRAITORS ,this is far from the will of the people & less so as time goes on!!
Tony Tate says
I’m all for a second referendum, I also think it should be mandatory. It’s such a huge decision to make in our history that I truly believe we should all be made to take the vote. In 2016, nowhere near the majority of the population voted. Until they do, I will continue to fight to stay in the EU. Then and only then will I accept the the decision made by all, even if the government were to give everybody a day off work, we need another vote.
AZ Rand says
I think we need to hear a lot more from Tony Blair, Nick Clegg and Gina Miller. They are passionate pro-European’s who can effectively put the case for staying as close to the EU as possible.
Janet Marks says
Who are the pro-EU factions in the country? Not only have they failed to make any noticeable arguments in favour of the EU, but they – whoever they are – aren’t united and visible.
Peter Cook says
Undoubtedly the fragmentation, structure and leadership of remain remains (sic) a strategic weakness. I decided to go straight into everyone’s houses / iPhones / iPads and pubs with a populist approach to help extend and deepen the impact of the many marches. Please see https://www.gofundme.com/StopBrexit