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The Biggest #Brexit Lie: “It’s the Will of the People”

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2018-03-02

To make that clear, 29,089,259 people did not vote to leave the EU. How is that the “will of the people”?

What about those who were excluded from the electorate but will be eligible to vote by the time the full implications are understood and the details of whatever deal is reached at the end of the negotiations between the UK government and the other 27 nations of the EU?

I am well aware that, in the UK, we almost always have governments that do not have the express support of a majority of the electorate or even of those eligible to participate in a general election. I have always deplored that fact and spent a good deal of time and energy over the years campaigning for proportional representation. So it is perfectly consistent for me to deny the oft repeated claim that 1.3 million is a clear enough majority and that I should “get over it” and accept the result.

There is, however, a great deal of difference between the question “which of these individuals would you like to represent you in Parliament for the next five years” and “do you agree that we should overthrow 43 years of co-operation with our neighbours and return to making our own way in the world?” Not that the question was framed with quite such clarity, but that is the import of the decision. It seals our fate, not for the next five years, but for a generation. And most of the generation that will be affected had no say.

On Thursday’s “Question Time” Nigel Farage insisted that the government’s own economic forecasts are wrong, that countries like China, India and Brazil are queuing up to do deals with the UK. Ignoring the first claim, which simply highlights the man’s contempt for the civil service, let’s examine the second, which has also been asserted by Liam Fox in the past.

The truth is, as the prime minister was keen to point out, on her recent trip to China, we already have trade agreements in place with most of these nations, under the auspices of the EU. Of course they want to trade with such a large bloc with it’s population of close on half a billion. When we leave the EU, not only will we have a less advantageous trading arrangement with that bloc, but those existing trade agreements with other nations will lapse and have to be re-negotiated.

If they are indeed “queuing up” to do deals with the UK it is because they can see we will be an easy touch, desperate to sign up to anything, any relaxation of consumer protection regulations, in order to get a deal, any deal. And this is not because they are desperate to purchase goods and services produced by British workers, but because they want to offload their own surpluses on unsuspecting British consumers.

How will imports of Brazilian beef help British agriculture, which by then may well be reeling at the loss of support from the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy?

An often repeated response from Bexiters, when it is pointed out that almost half our trade is presently with the EU, is that we import more from the other 27 than we export to them; there is a deficit.

But we are not obliged to import so many German cars, Spanish vegetables and French wines – or, come to that, so much dairy produce from Ireland. That is the true will of the people, exercising their right of choice to purchase what they obviously see as offering good value for money.

If you are part of the 17 million minority that wants to leave the Single Market and the Customs Union should you not be boycotting those goods already? It might help you to gain a better understanding of what you are rejecting if you did.

Another Brexit supporting politician, Daniel Hannan MEP, recently told the BBC that leaving the EU would benefit the poorest Britons because they would have access to cheap food. People like Farage, Fox and Hannan want you, and the 29 million who did not vote to leave, to introduce hormone injected beef from cattle fed on antibiotics and chicken washed in chlorine into your diet. How is this of benefit to anyone except the importers? It will impoverish our farmers and threaten the health of ordinary people, placing even greater pressure on the NHS.

It is not too late. It’s time to wake up to what awaits us after March 2019. Exiting from Brexit might leave a few politicians looking foolish, but what’s not to like about that? It’s time to respect the will of the many, not the few.

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20 Comments

  1. jenanita01 says:

    I find myself on the fence about Brexit. We probably shouldn’t have joined Europe in the first place, but leaving doesn’t seem like an easy idea either!

    Liked by 1 person

    • franklparker says:

      “On the fence” is where the 11 million who didn’t vote are. Do you want to sit on the fence and watch your children and grandchildren’s livelihoods put at risk by this madness?

      Liked by 3 people

      • jenanita01 says:

        My fence sitting is not apathy, Frank and I do vote. I just don’t know what we, as a country should do for the best. Not that we can really do anything these days. Everything is rigged so the politicians can get their own way about everything…

        Liked by 1 person

      • franklparker says:

        A lot of people share your cynicism about politics. Having been a politician – only at County level, though, and having met quite a few as a result I do believe that most politicians genuinely have our best interests at heart. It’s the business lobbyists I worry about and I absolutely do not trust the xenophobic right wing newspapers. Listening to Mrs May yesterday I really cannot see why the vision she painted cannot be achieved whilst remaining in the EU – I’d go further and suggest that it is just such a vision that we were following when we joined. Don’t forget it was Churchill’s idea and, but for the French veto, we would have been members a decade before we were finally admitted.

        Liked by 2 people

      • jenanita01 says:

        One way or another, they have to get their backsides in gear and sort this country out before we sink without trace!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Clive says:

    With you all the way on this, Frank. It’s as Joni Mitchell said: you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone. How anyone with two brain cells to rub together can believe that isolating us from what we currently enjoy as EU members is advantageous baffles me. Little Englanders like Farage, Fox, Duncan-Smith and Ress-Mogg are deluded in their fanaticism. And congratulations on having an anti-Brexit rant without once mentioning the buffoon who masquerades as our leading ‘diplomat!’

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I’ve been following the Brexit negotiations, Frank, and share your concerns. Standing alone, the UK will not have the same bargaining power as it does as a member of the EU.

    Readers can learn more about the advantages of regional trading blocks at http://rosalienebacchus.com/articles/RegionalTradeBlocks.html

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I like that you don’t shy away from the controversial, Frank. Whatever you believe in, keep fighting the good fight my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Here is another point of view, Frank. So far as the vote is concerned, that’s the system we have. I’m sure you’ve campaigned to change it, but it hasn’t happened yet. It is a pity the vote wasn’t more emphatic, one way or another. But there we are. However, whilst respecting your sincere point of view, and passion, I simply do not understand why we are not moving on. The fear-selling goes on, the skies are going to fall and anyone who doesn’t see that is an intellectually impaired right-wing demon. It is a matter of regret that political debate in general, and on Brexit in particular, is frequently not a debate at all. There is a tendency – and I’m afraid that so-called ‘liberals’ (they’re obviously not) are all too often guilty of this – to simply shout people down or throw insults around, rather than to respect the fact that everyone is entitled to a point of view. The whole ‘Brexit’ campaign was appalling on both sides of the argument, but the aftermath has been quite shocking. Referring to those that voted to leave the EU as ‘lacking in brain cells’ as your chum above has, is not only rude and puerile, but also inaccurate – as are ridiculous (and insulting) claims that ‘Brexiteers’ (awful term) are Xenophobic (do people actually know what this means?), racist and don’t care about the future of their children, or grandchildren. How wrong, and how impertinent. Nor are we ‘leaving Europe’ (of course we’re not!). History may, or may not, prove that the vote was the wrong decision. But it is also a fairly humbling thought that history will probably record it as a relatively trivial matter. I feel better now 🙂 Best regards, Mike.

    Liked by 2 people

    • franklparker says:

      Thank you for your comment, Mike. I respect the opinion of anyone if that opinion is based on rational argument and an analysis of the facts. And I agree that there were many falsehoods presented as ‘fact’ throughout the campaign. But it is also true that we have been subjected to 40+ years of Eurosceptic rhetoric from the press most of which is based on myths (‘straight bananas’ being the most obvious) and half-truths. As for xenophobia, you only have to look at some of the responses to ‘remain’ supporting posts on social media to know that it is out there. We can only ‘benefit’ from leaving the EU if we are prepared to abandon the regulations that protect both consumers and workers in order to negotiate ‘better’ deals with the non-EU nations that we already deal with on EU terms. I can not see how that helps anyone except a few wealthy individuals who are adept at tax evasion.

      Liked by 1 person

    • franklparker says:

      Mike, I have tried time and again to have someone provide a rational argument, with examples, of how the UK will benefit from leaving the EU, the single market and the customs union. You seem like someone who might be bale to do that for me.
      I want to know what laws you would have the UK government make that our membership prevents it from making (“The ability to make our own laws”)
      I want to know in what way deals the UK might be able to do with countries not presently members of the EU will be more beneficial than the deals we already have in place and/or could make in the future whilst remaining members
      I want to know realistically how far we can reduce net inward migration without damaging agriculture/hospitality/public services
      I’ll stop there – three starter questions which should help me understand.

      Like

  6. Add to that number the British citizens living abroad who after 15 years absence have been disenfranchised and the vote could easily have gone the other way.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. tidalscribe says:

    How I agree, I’ve never been strongly attached to any political party, not through apathy, but being genuinely unsure at any given time or place. Wanting to be green and worrying about education and the NHS is not enough. But with the referendum I knew for sure I would be a Remainer; If there had been doubt in my mind I would have supported the choice of the younger members of our family and their spouses which was to remain. Of course the EU wasn’t perfect, but to drop the most civilised countries in the world as friends and pall up with…. I keep hoping I wil wake up in the morning to find it has all been a horrible dream!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Sadly no dream more of a nightmare. I cheated and applied for and got my Irish passport as I was born in Dublin. I guess I have a foot in both camps, but at least I will be able to move freely around Europe.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. […] have explained previously how the vote on 23rd June 2016 did not represent the will of (all of ) the people. But there is something even more significant about the #Brexit referendum and it is most easily […]

    Like

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