Advisory not compulsory
We are told by those who voted Leave – and a phrase now repeated by Theresa May – that “Brexit means Brexit”.
Clearly in Conservative eyes there is no going back. The referendum result of 52 per cent/48 per cent has to be ‘respected’ and acted on.
I beg to differ – and I am in excellent company.
Robert Armstrong was at one point the Cabinet Secretary and later head of the civil service. He is an experienced commentator and sits as a cross-bencher in the Lords.
On July 5, Armstrong made a powerful speech in the Lords in which he pointed out that we live in a parliamentary democracy. It is the job of parliament to decide the best course forward. The referendum was advisory only and not mandatory.
Before the referendum, it was the case that over 400 of our 650 MPs were for Remain. This was their considered opinion and they should not be ‘bounced’ by a referendum process that any fair-minded observer would agree was flawed. The job of parliament is to seek the best outcome for the future of the country.
As Lord Armstrong argues (and I agree) if rational examination indicates that our best way forward is to remain within a European Union that is seeking to reform itself, we should not eliminate that best option because we feel compelled to ‘respect’ the outcome of a flawed referendum process.
Sense told me to remain
It appears that all the wheels have come off the Brexit camp.
I am not surprised as it was a motley crew, with Boris Johnson, Michael Gove, Iain Duncan Smith and Chris Grayling. I voted to remain in the EU, simply relying on experience and common sense. After the Thatcher reign in the 1990s, it became impossible to buy new British cars.
Then in the 2000s it was possible to buy British-made Honda, Nissan, Toyota and BMW Minis, along with Tata Motors and Land Rover.
I assumed that, as these companies had moved into Britain, they could as easily move out if they had to start paying import duty on vehicles exported to Europe.
I was amazed how many voted to leave the EU when all the Brexit camp were saying was “that’s a load of codswallop” to whatever the Remain campaigners were saying.
Anyone who has been on a coach tour holiday in Britain will know that the hotel staff who serve breakfast, clean bedrooms and serve evening meal, are mostly of East European origin. What will happen to British coach holidays if these people have to go back to their homeland?
What was the point of vote?
I am surprised Theresa May is to become Prime Minister, bearing in mind she was in favour of staying in. How can she negotiate to come out when her heart is not in it? Seventeen million voted to come out due to issues with migration and yet the Foreign Secretary has already said trade negotiations with the EU will include the free movement of people. Mrs May has already said she will not implement Article 50 until the new year. That should have been implemented on June 24, straight after the result of the Referendum was known.
There will be no opposition from the Labour Party because they are in meltdown.
It makes you wonder what the point of the referendum was when the result is being ignored by the very people we elected to represent us.