Marching for Europe

The many thousands of people who joined the Marches for Europe across several British cities this weekend were not just “sore losers”. There were also “regretful winners”, and a large number of people from both camps who are worried about where we go now.

Above all, the demonstrations were a further illustration of the fact that many people do not consider Brexit to be a done deal.

Quite apart from the serious misgivings about the referendum (with the mendacious lies told by the Leave campaign and the rigged franchise), widespread criticism is now focusing on the choice still to be made by the government on whether it wants a soft Brexit, staying in the single market, or a hard one. The government apparently wants to make this choice without a vote in parliament, let alone a referendum.

There is no ‘mandate’ for choosing either of these options. Indeed, the opposite is true. Whichever option is chosen, Leave voters would be right to say it’s not what they were promised. A soft Brexit would mean keeping free movement of people and subscribing to other single market rules. A hard Brexit would impede British trade not just with Europe but with the world, causing a big economic hit to Britain.

The government is clearly divided on this choice. But whichever one it chooses, and then seeks to negotiate to the best of its capability, surely it should be subject to a democratic vote.

A narrow majority of British voters expressed a preference for a manufactured, glossily-portrayed Brexit scenario in the (advisory) referendum in June. Don’t they now deserve a right to vote on the real deal, once its consequences are visible for all to see?

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5 Comments

  1. Why do so many politicians continue to run against the democratic will of the people.
    I am a Labour voter and i voted to leave the EU.
    With regard to this narrow margin, the margin was over 1.4 million people.
    And with regards to lies etc ,have you suffered some sort of amnesia with regards to the daily dose of armagedon that we were bombarded with .
    My advice to you and your pro EU colleagues is STOP!!!
    Listen to the will of the British people and do as you have been instructed.
    unless of course you believe democracy is only for those who agree with you.
    I and all of the people who voted out will hold you and your party accountable at any forthcoming elections for this blatant disregard of the British peoples will.
    As a Labour supporter i need a strong Labour party to fight these Tory morons ,
    But at the moment i cannot endorse the party in any way .
    So stop moaning and whinging and do your job .
    Represent the British people or stand down and let someone who believes in democracy take over.

    • Actually the majority in favour of leave was 1.27 million, which is 3.8% of the total number who voted. By any rational assessment that is a slim majority. For most who voted Remain a margin of maybe 8-10% might have been acceptable, but given the misleading nature of the campaign and the huge significance of the issue a 3.8% majority is far from convincing.

      As Farage said during the campaign that a 48/52 result for remain would make it unfinished business that would require a second referendum, what’s sauce for the Goose…..

  2. A really good piece, the fact that the referendum was/is only advisory and required no government action needs to be constantly hammered home! Keep up the pressure, we need to remain!!

  3. Which ever way you look at it. it is a mess the brexiter’s had no idea how it was going to work. Cameron admitted there was no plan “b”. The vote to leave was a massive reaction to the state of the country with all sorts of agenda’s being promoted.
    The responsibility for sorting out the mess falls at the door of the government who must come back to the British people with proposals that will satisfy the electorate of this country not just the brexiters.
    The saddest part of the present situation, is we have not got a credible opposition or a credible Leader of the Opposition and we didn’t have one during the referendum campaign.
    Time for some hard decisions have we got politicians who have the bottle to make these decisions only time will tell.
    The Labour Party should be putting forward balanced well thought out policies that work, time to step up to the plate.

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