Going for Brexit or denying the EU Referendum

The Rt Hon David Davies MP and Secretary of State for Exiting the EU gave an update to the House of Commons today. He made quite clear what Brexit means

Naturally, people want to know what Brexit will mean.
Simply, it means the UK leaving the European Union. We will decide on our borders, our laws, and taxpayers’ money.
It means getting the best deal for Britain – one that is unique to Britain and not an ‘off the shelf’ solution. This must mean controls on the numbers of people who come to Britain from Europe – but also a positive outcome for those who wish to trade in goods and services.

He went on to lay out the principles on which Britain would proceed.

…as we proceed, we will be guided by some clear principles. First, as I said, we wish to build a national consensus around our position. Second, while always putting the national interest first, we will always act in good faith towards our European partners. Third, wherever possible we will try to minimise any uncertainty that change can inevitably bring. And, fourth, crucially, we will – by the end of this process – have left the European Union, and put the sovereignty and supremacy of this Parliament beyond doubt.

On other words Britain will Brexit is in a very British fashion.

– It will be from principles, not from specific objectives or adhering to specific rules.
– Britain will act honourably, something that the British have long been known for commercial dealings.
– It will recognize that other EU members have interests as well. The outcome being aimed for is where Britain’s relationship to the EU is based on co-operation and trade where both sides are net winners.
– At the end of the process Britain will have a more sovereign Parliament. That is, the democratically elected Government will be able to decide the future course of country, for better or worse.

Text is at ConservativeHome
Emily Thornberry MP, speaking for the Labour Party, gave a somewhat different perspective from about 13:10

– Strategy consists of clearly laid out and concrete plan.
– There are areas of policy that should placed outside of the scope of a sovereign Parliament, such “workers rights” and guarantees for EU Nationals currently resident in the UK.
– A “positive vision” consists of definite objectives.
– You listen to outside gloomy prophesies that support your perspective.
– The Government are now rushing to start negotiation, without a well-thought plan. Given that the Government is delaying triggering Article 50 until 2017, the means she is wanting a slower pace. But on 24th June when the referendum result was announced, Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn was all for triggering Article 50 straight away. Is this another open split with the Labour Leader, or an about-face in Labour policy?
– Article 50 should not be triggered without a parliamentary vote to authorize.

On triggering Article 50 David Davies pointed out 20.35 there was a referendum bill that went through the House of Commons, and was voted for 6 to 1. Emily Thornberry voted in favour. It was made perfectly clear by the then Foreign Secretary at the time that the EU referendum was not a consultation, or an advice to parliament, but a decision by the electorate. The words of the Act do not state that, but people were lead to believe that in the campaign. Most importantly Will Straw, leader of Britain Stronger in Europe (the official Remain campaign) said the decision was for the voters.

On 23rd June you will get to vote on the EU Referendum and decide whether Britain remains in or leaves Europe.

Apart from the inaccuracy of naming the decision as whether to leave the geographical continent rather than the political organisation, the statement could not be clearer. Yet the losers in the Referendum want to re-interpret the meaning of the result.

Kevin Marshall


  1. As an ex-pat from many, many moons ago – living in the “colony” of Canada – I never could fathom GB’s decision to join the decidedly undemocratic EU (although it may not have seemed that way at the time of joining).

    Needless to say, I was cheering for the Brexiteers – and was delighted to learn of the results. Consequently, I find this current campaign by the Remainders to be considerably less than democratic – by any stretch of the word.

    In some ways, this campaign-by-sore-losers reminds me of the UN’s decision last year to totally ignore their very own two-year survey (with over 8 million respondents) which firmly placed “action taken on climate change” at the very bottom of a 16 item barrel. The initial promise was that these results would be taken into account (implying that they would be included) as the UN developed its SDGs.

    Yet – for some unknown reason – somewhere along the way, a decision was made to ditch these results in favour of those subsequently obtained from a one-day 10,000 respondent “survey”. See: UN survey participants: one-day 10,000 trumps two-year 8 million plus for details.

    At this point, it seems to me that the UN and the EU are joined at the bureaucratic, ever-power-grabbing – and far from “transparent” – hip. Both have extended their claimed domains waaaay beyond their original respective mandates.

    So, once the dust settles and the U.K.’s sore-loser-brigade is consigned to its rightful place i.e. what the now-disgraced Pachauri had aptly called “the dustbin” of history, perhaps we could start a worldwide DemExitUN* campaign;-)

    *Democracies of the world, Exit the UN

    • manicbeancounter

       /  06/09/2016

      Hi Hilary
      Back in the 1970s the situation was very different from today. Consensus politics was all the rage; Britain was the “sick man of Europe”; and the then body was primarily an economic trading area with certain cross-border subsidies – notably steel and agriculture. Even though it has changed beyond recognition there are still some positives. The biggest achievement was to integrate some of the ex-Communist countries. There is a huge and increasing gulf between those in the EU and those out. But in other respects it is a disaster. Growth has stagnated and the Euro – the biggest EU project – has resulted in massive unemployment across Southern Europe, mostly because the authorities failed to uphold the rules on budget deficits and National Debts (the 3% and 60% of GDP criteria).
      I think the EU referendum was quite different to the UN surveys. The UN is an inter-Governmental body, not a body that is directly elected. 33.5 million people voted in the UK – more than in recent General Elections. Although the result was only 51.9% to 48.1%, it is estimated that about 65% of parliamentary constituencies and 9 of the 12 regions voted to leave. It seems to be political suicide for the Labour Party to go against the result.

  2. Oh, I don’t disagree at all that the EU referendum was very different to the UN surveys – although the view from here, so to speak, is that these two bureaucratic and ever-expanding, far from democratic bodies are joined at the hip and/or lip:-)

    My admittedly somewhat facetious point was that just as the Remainers are pushing for a new vote ‘cuz things didn’t go their way, the UN (obviously a bureaucratic step ahead of the EU neutered U.K.) simply “disappeared” a vote that didn’t go their way in favour of one that they carefully engineered to ensure that it would!

    But I appreciate your enlightenment above; because back in the ’70’s I was far more involved – as both a professional and a volunteer – with the development of community based services for people with developmental handicaps (then known as “mentally retarded”) who had been dumped into large institutions and/or (inappropriately) nursing homes. But when the “values virus” hit the field in the early 90’s, I decided it was time for me to move on to something completely new and different. So I did!

    Back in those days, Canada (at least to the best of my recollection!) had not been infected by “consensus politics” – and the early-grade political correctness virus didn’t really cross my radar until the mid-80’s. But, I certainly did notice the decline in education standards on this side of the pond, beginning as early as ’73:-(

    • manicbeancounter

       /  10/10/2016

      Hi Hilary
      Thanks for sharing your experiences. I did not reply straight away as not only do I agree very strongly with your sentiments on the mentally handicapped (both in moving into the community & in the values virus), but see the values virus as having been responsible for some appalling failures in social care.

      Two examples from the UK, that you may have come across.

      The first was with Baby P, who died in 2007 from multiple injuries having been battered over many months. There was a committee of 15 looking after his case. In the months before he died, Baby P was “seen” 60 times. I have always though committee’s were pretty useless, simply because reaching consensus means evading the obvious.

      The second was a case in Rotherham where an estimated 1400 girls were raped by a gang of men, often being trafficked to other parts of the country. The politically correct police and social services did not investigate the girls that were raped because they happened to be white and the men were ethnic Pakistani. One write up after the full enquiry is here. I have always believed the law should be colour-blind and this is a clear confirmation of that belief. You should focus on the evidence, not on how it will appear, whether in the law or understanding an academic subject like climate change.

  3. richard verney

     /  10/10/2016

    I agree with David Davies that Brexit means.

    the UK leaving the European Union. We will decide on our borders, our laws, and taxpayers’ money

    There is much debate whether the referendum vote means a hard Brexit. Obviously it does for the reason cited by David Davies. We have voted to leave the EU, and this means out of all the various institutions that make up the EU, eg., out of the single market, out of the common agricultural policy, out of the common fisheries policy etc.

    One cannot leave/get off the train by keeping one foot in the carriage. We have voted to leave the train and that means getting out of the carriage.

    One can also see from the way that Remainers framed the debate that they too considered that voting out inevitably means a hard Brexit and out of the single market. Their project fear was based upon a hard Brexit.

    At no time did Remainers suggest that a vote out of the EU would mean that the UK would still be part of the single market, and therefore there should be no economic problems, nothing would change economically even if the public was to vote out. At no time did Remainers suggest that there would be no down turn in the stock market, house prices, employment, no need for any emergency budget since economically there would be no change in our relationship with Europe because we would still be part of the single market. As I say, project fear was based entirely upon the consequence of the national vote to leave the EU meant that the UK would have a hard Brexit.

    Democracy is at a junction. If the political class will not act on the vote and seek to curtail it by a soft Brexit it will further demonstrate that there is no government by the people for the people, but instead government by the elitist few for the benefit of the elitist few.

    Politicians need to be very careful, or they will quickly lose even more trust and will be seen to be an irrelevance.

    • manicbeancounter

       /  10/10/2016

      Thanks Richard for your comment. It did get through, but first time comments are held in moderation.
      I largely agree with you on the “soft” verses “hard” Brexit. Soft means retaining most of the disadvantages of the EU. A hard Brexit means that it will be the voters who will decide at future General Elections the course that Britain will take. The Softies either do not want the responsibility, or do not like the competition in ideas as, on a level playing field (a peculiarly British concept) they know that they will lose.

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