04 December 2023 07:14:58 GMT

The Third Rock Forum - Politics

Article Title
Why are the Remainers so fanatical?
Paul G
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Submitted : 12-06-2019 21:09
Amended : 13-06-2019 16:43
Status : Approved:  
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Will someone explain why the militant Remainers (i.e. much of Parliament, the UK establishment and quite a high proportion of those who voted remain in the 2016 referendum) have exhibited the classic symptoms of fanaticism?

In 2016, after weeks of research and seemingly endless debate with each other and our friends, my wife and I voted to leave the EU. 

In the end, I voted on principle; i.e. I considered that the EU was inherently undemocratic and I wanted this country to be run by those who, at least every five years, can be held accountable.  I objected to the bloated bureaucracy, the profligacy and the financial corruption in the EU but my main reason was “taking back control”.

My wife was more pragmatic in her decision-taking. After due consideration, she realised that the main reason she considered voting to remain was fear (after all, we had been told that leaving would be an act of almost insane national self-harm). If she discounted fear, on balance, she preferred that we should leave. Since she objected to being ruled by fear, she, like me, voted to leave.  I might add, with some degree of pride, that our vote to leave damaged us financially (we were dependent on EU citizens to rent our London property), so clearly neither of us was motivated by self-interest.

The result of the referendum came as a surprise to us. Despite our decision to vote to leave, my wife and I both recognised the positives of the EU and felt some regret that, primarily because the EU seemed to us to be persistently heading in the wrong political direction (a federal state with very doubtful democratic credentials), we had, to some extent reluctantly, felt it best to leave.

Had the country voted to stay in the EU, we would have been disappointed but we would of course have accepted the result.  After all, what else could we do? There had been a referendum that we had been told was to be a final decision on whether we remained in or left the EU - and the side we had voted for had lost  

We were impressed that after decades in the EU during which  generations of UK citizens had accepted the gradual erosion of national independence, there was still enough spirit, self-confidence and entrepreneurial zeal for the country to decide to stand on its own feet outside the protective tariff barriers imposed by the EU.

And we expected that the UK, after predictably difficult negotiations with a rather disgruntled EU Commission, would leave the EU on 29th March 2019.

What then happened is the subject of this article.  And, funnily enough, the subject is not Brexit.  It is the truly extraordinary and destructive actions of the Remainers.

Let me exempt from the class of Remainers those, no doubt millions, who accepted the result of the referendum.  They did what people do in a democracy. They recognised that a democracy cannot function unless those who lose in a vote are prepared to accept the will of the majority.  This is a generally recognised principle. After all, if what we think is the wrong party wins a general election, we don’t then do everything we can to undermine and frustrate the winners and try to engineer immediately another election in the hope we can reverse the decision.

But that is what the Remainers (those who didn’t accept the referendum result) and the UK establishment did.

Before identifying the enormous damage these people have done to the UK’s democratic institutions, to the UK economy and to the reputation of this country in the world, I feel the need to put in plain terms what the referendum was about and to point out a very real oddity. 

The question in the referendum was: “Do you want to stay in the EU or to leave the EU?”  Those who wanted to leave had as their main slogan “Taking back control of our laws, our borders and our money.”  And yes, it was to restore sovereignty to Parliament.  I’ll say it again. The people voted to restore sovereignty to Parliament.

But there was a problem. It quickly became apparent that Parliament (or at least the House of Commons (after the 2017 general election) and the House of Lords, didn’t want to have their sovereignty restored.  They much preferred to defer to the EU Commission.  This seems to me extraordinary.  The British people voted to restore sovereignty to a British Parliament – and the British Parliament, careless of the wishes of their own people, didn’t want it.

Why?  Is it that the British people have more faith in their own country and their representatives than their representatives in Parliament have in themselves?  Is it that the British Parliament really believes decisions taken by the EU Commission are of rather better quality than decisions they can take themselves?  Really? Even the most enthusiastic Remainers admit that the EU needs reform; that it has a democratic deficit; that it has problems in decision-taking, that it is a top heavy bureaucracy; that its financial regulation is of dubious probity. So why on earth are so many of our Parliamentarians so keen to remain in the EU and under its governance, against the democratically expressed will of their own people?.

I have no answer.

Let’s move on to the case against the Remainers who have fought to emasculate or destroy Brexit.

1. By refusing to accept the result of the referendum, they ensured we would get the worst possible deal from the EU. 

It is self-evident that if you go into a negotiation utterly divided, with part of the country bitterly fighting those who are negotiating to leave, the negotiations will fail. If you then insist that no deal must be removed as a possibility, you doubly ensure the UK is in the weakest possible bargaining position.

I therefore accuse the Remainers of destroying any chance of a successful negotiation.

2. By refusing to accept the result of the referendum, they irreparably damaged the people’s trust in democracy.

The referendum took place because Parliament was hopelessly divided over the future of this country. Yes, the country too was divided. But the referendum was Parliament’s way of resolving its own intractable problem. In effect, it said to the people; “We lend you our authority to settle this question once and for all”. And then, when they didn’t like the answer, they determined to ignore the will of the people. Whether or not we leave the EU  is now less important than whether or not our faith in democracy can ever be restored.

I therefore accuse the Remainers of doing everything they can to destroy our faith in democracy.

3. By taking control of legislation with the connivance of the Speaker, the House of Commons has subverted our constitution with ramifications which are incalculable.

If Members of Parliament can seize control of legislation from the government, we have an entirely different form of democracy. In future, we should not vote for parties to form governments, nor need we read or hope to hold them to their manifestoes. No, we shall vote for individual  candidates, with  their personal policy agenda, because they, in concert with other MPs, will be able to determine the legislative programme.

I accuse the Remainers of introducing a fundamental change to our democratic processes without any discussion or debate, simply in order to overturn the result of a democratic referendum.

In other words, they have behaved with fanatical determination to damage this country.

And, despite their claim to base their objection to Brexit on economic grounds,  the Remainers have also damaged the economy by happily undermining UK negotiations and by voting against every attempt to resolve the issue while the UK economy struggles with uncertainty.

So I return to my original question. Can anyone explain the fanaticism of the Remainers?   It seems to me that the Remainers in Parliament have behaved worse than spoilt children. They have betrayed the people’s trust, undermined the democratic process, torn up three hundred years of Parliamentary tradition, all in an outrageous effort to overturn the result of a referendum they solemnly promised to respect. We have been too kind to them. No longer. Let's speak truth to power. They are not fit for public office.