Friday 19 October 2018

Thoughts on a People's Vote

I’m not one for posting political views on my blog, but sometimes things just need to be said.

I must admit, I have had my reservations about a People’s Vote. For one thing, if one is ever held soon, it is more than likely to widen the deepening social and political divide in Britain caused in the wake of the 2016 Brexit referendum. Nevertheless I will be supporting those who are marching in London this weekend to demand a People’s Vote. I do so on the grounds of the democratic premise of the 2016 referendum being fundamentally flawed. To put it plain and simple: I, along with hundreds of thousands of other UK citizens living in the EU, were denied a vote in a plebiscite that directly affected our rights. These rights, over which we had no say, are now being trashed before our very eyes: that isn’t how democracy is supposed to work.

If media reports are to be believed this shambolic, laughing stock of a Tory government is now earnestly mitigating for a no-deal Brexit, a situation that would leave my country crashing out of a political union which has enabled it to prosper economically and culturally for four decades and – more than anything - has helped keep the peace on a turbulent continent for an unprecedented 70 years.

At the time of the referendum, many of those who now sit at the cabinet table and are personally responsible for the unfolding fiasco scoffed at ‘remoaners’, the harbingers of doom and gloom. They called it Project Fear. Amongst other things, they told us we didn’t need experts, we would hold all the cards in the withdrawal negotiations, and assured us that concluding a free trade deal with our European partners (sic) would be the easiest thing in history: German car manufacturers and Prosecco growers would see to that.
Well, what a surprise: Project Fear is rapidly becoming Project Reality.

I do not believe the option of a no-deal featured on the original ballot paper – at any rate, I can’t recall it being mentioned during the campaign. As it happens, I never saw the ballot paper anyway, because it wasn’t sent to me or to the other 1.2 million UK citizens living on the continent who stand to have their rights swept away by a no-deal Brexit. Mrs May has said that “asking the question all over again would be a gross betrayal of our democracy”. Well, Mrs May, I can tell you it was a gross betrayal to be denied a vote in the first place. It was a gross betrayal to promise from the very start of negotiations that our rights would be protected, only to be later used as bargaining chips. Abandoned in the referendum, we have now been well and truly hung out to dry.
Incredibly, the government has already published over 100 guidance papers on how to prepare for a no-deal Brexit and yet not a single one of them refers to citizens’ rights.  

This current rabble in power doesn’t show any signs of listening. They don’t even listen to themselves. Fed by a frenzied Europhobic media, much of the country seems to be suffering from a delusional take-back-control, will-of-the-people, brexit-means-brexit psychosis that no medication seems capable of curing. Hopefully the thousands attending the march, including many citizens from abroad, denied the vote in the referendum, will be making their voices heard. I wish everyone on the march this weekend a safe and successful day.

Previous thoughts on Brexit: I want my Identity back