Saturday, 25 June 2016

Plea to Westminster: Ignore the referendum

It's been 36 hours since news of the Brexit earthquake reverberated around the world. The shock has worn off, but not the horror.

Our Man is not going to list how bad things are now, or how bad they could get for the people of Britain and the prosperity of Europe and all that. You are either aware of that now, or soon will be. The candidates for leading fascist state of the dystopian future always struck Our Man as more likely to come from some odd spot of the world, not his homeland.

But Our Man is a lover of ironies. Here's one he'd like to see come true.

In order to preserve the existence of the (fairly) liberal democratic United Kingdom with a final chance to avoid a descent into darkness, he'd like to point out that the referendum vote to leave the EU is not binding. It will only become a reality if the lawmakers of Westminster push it through.

Our Man says:

It's the responsibility of Parliament to ignore the result of the referendum.

How? Not sure. That would require a level of leadership, balls, and communication with the people of Britain not seen in the country for a generation.

Why? Because to preserve democracy and the continued existence of Great Britain, the new government has a duty to ignore the will of the people this one time.

Ironic huh?

Then the real work of fixing what's broken with democracy begins. The alternative is as dark as night.


tony said...

Firstly, there is this ray of hope;

Secondly, No, Europe should not ignore this result completely.

The fact that such a large number of people in the UK apparently do not actually
understand what the EU really does, and is really about, indicates that the EU has
a public image problem, which it needs to work on.
I think too many people still see it in this way;

Jan Moren said...

Can't ignore it. Because Britain became a lame duck in the EU the moment the result came in. Nobody else in the EU will listen to a word Britain says, since they have a decision to leave anyhow. At this point, Britain has about the same power in EU as, say, Luxembourg or Latvia: One commissioner and a gaggle of parlamentarians.

The only way to regain the standing in the EU is to have a positive decision not to leave. That would mean a second referendum, or some action to that effect. I don't see that happening. A second referendum would (rightly) be seen as a betrayal by a lot of people and may well end up with a stronger Leave vote than now.

And that's without considering that Scotland most likely will have a second referendum and will leave Great Britain. Unless, of course, England tries to stop it, but that will effectively involve police or troops physically restraining campaigners and preventing balloting. Which would arguably hasten the split faster than any other course of action possible.

Our Man in Abiko said...

Tony, the petition can be written off as just sour grapes. And I'm not saying Europe should ignore the referendum, I'm saying Westminster should. They won't, but they should.

Jan, over on Twitter a good point was made that the media is blowing up these idiots who voted for Leave but thought Remain would win. Time for some dirty tricks. Make them a reason to recall the referendum and do it again. Perhaps MI5 should be equipped with erasers.

I know this is not kosher democracy but to save this village, we have to burn it down. Or something.

Jan Moren said...

Problem is, if you force a second referendum then UKIP will have a field day the next election. Hah, they'll have a field day anyhow, when the Leave supporters realize a trade deal with EU will mean the same open borders and EU rules as before, but now not even have a say on them.

And if Britain fudges the result and stays, they've effectively called their own bluff; there will be no more "special considerations" for Britain in the EU any longer. Everybody will know any threat to leave is empty. No matter what happens now, Britain has lost a large amount of the political power it had in Europe. The UKIPpers are not going to be happy puppies.

This is a decent read:

Especially in combination with:

Our Man in Abiko said...

Thanks. There may be a way out if UK can delay notifying the EU of a wish to leave. Maybe isn't political will, but there is hope. See this:

goodandbadjapan said...

Don't think they will have the guts to ignore the ref but there is also this from yesterday's Guardian comments:

If Boris Johnson looked downbeat yesterday, that is because he realises that he has lost.

Perhaps many Brexiters do not realise it yet, but they have actually lost, and it is all down to one man: David Cameron.

With one fell swoop yesterday at 9:15 am, Cameron effectively annulled the referendum result, and simultaneously destroyed the political careers of Boris Johnson, Michael Gove and leading Brexiters who cost him so much anguish, not to mention his premiership.


Throughout the campaign, Cameron had repeatedly said that a vote for leave would lead to triggering Article 50 straight away. Whether implicitly or explicitly, the image was clear: he would be giving that notice under Article 50 the morning after a vote to leave. Whether that was scaremongering or not is a bit moot now but, in the midst of the sentimental nautical references of his speech yesterday, he quietly abandoned that position and handed the responsibility over to his successor.

And as the day wore on, the enormity of that step started to sink in: the markets, Sterling, Scotland, the Irish border, the Gibraltar border, the frontier at Calais, the need to continue compliance with all EU regulations for a free market, re-issuing passports, Brits abroad, EU citizens in Britain, the mountain of legistlation to be torn up and rewritten ... the list grew and grew.

The referendum result is not binding. It is advisory. Parliament is not bound to commit itself in that same direction.

The Conservative party election that Cameron triggered will now have one question looming over it: will you, if elected as party leader, trigger the notice under Article 50?

Who will want to have the responsibility of all those ramifications and consequences on his/her head and shoulders?

Boris Johnson knew this yesterday, when he emerged subdued from his home and was even more subdued at the press conference. He has been out-maneouvered and check-mated.

If he runs for leadership of the party, and then fails to follow through on triggering Article 50, then he is finished. If he does not run and effectively abandons the field, then he is finished. If he runs, wins and pulls the UK out of the EU, then it will all be over - Scotland will break away, there will be upheaval in Ireland, a recession ... broken trade agreements. Then he is also finished. Boris Johnson knows all of this. When he acts like the dumb blond it is just that: an act.

The Brexit leaders now have a result that they cannot use. For them, leadership of the Tory party has become a poison chalice.

When Boris Johnson said there was no need to trigger Article 50 straight away, what he really meant to say was "never". When Michael Gove went on and on about "informal negotiations" ... why? why not the formal ones straight away? ... he also meant not triggering the formal departure. They both know what a formal demarche would mean: an irreversible step that neither of them is prepared to take.

All that remains is for someone to have the guts to stand up and say that Brexit is unachievable in reality without an enormous amount of pain and destruction, that cannot be borne. And David Cameron has put the onus of making that statement on the heads of the people who led the Brexit campaign.