Today one of my anti Brexit tweets seems to have resounded more than usual so I want to elaborate on it in more than 140 characters.
It struck me last night watching BBC Question time, that even under the most fervent ‘Remain’ panelists, no politician has the strength of conviction to just admit: “Actually I don’t respect the referendum outcome and neither should you!” The atmosphere in the months between this ill fated UK referendum and UK Prime Minister May actually invoking the next logical step of Invoking Article 50 is so tense, that nobody remotely considered a ‘public figure’ dares to stick their head above the parapet in case they get branded ‘undemocratic elite’. “You lost, get over it” is the prevailing mantra in post-brexit Britain.
In contrast every time one of the world’s sporting heroes fails a drug test, UK tabloids would be the first to demand and strip the cheats from their medals. In sports like cycling or running marathon’s, the time difference between No. 1 and No. 2 is comparable to the 2.1% victory of vote Leave over Remain in EU. It’s marginal, but we accept that last minute blood doping dose or use of other banned substances in sport can make the difference between winning or loosing a match or a race. We think nothing of it that number 2 now becomes number 1 and the champion gets stripped of his/her medal, but it’s alright to print outright lies on campaign busses and get away with a fraudulently obtained EU referendum result?
What about ‘project fear’ Eurosceptics might argue, did they not lie as well? Actually no! Most of the dire prediction of economists, think tanks and the IMF are slowly materialising. Never mind that the UK hasn’t actually left the EU yet! Never mind the selective perception of the British anti EU press, who now report any successful ‘closing down sale’ as “#brexit wasn’t as bad as the remoaners would have you believe, folks!”
At least the foreign tourists are still spending our devalued pounds. Higher prices at the pump and supermarkets are only just now starting to bite. Hence Marmitegate.
So here’s the thing: It’s alright not to respect a marginal result in Britain’s EU referendum, when it was swung by outright lies about EU costs and benefits, scare stories about immigrants. But if it makes you feel better you can use the the pretext of a constitutional challenge playing out in the High Court today. Or you can leave, yet stay in EU by another name, like Norway, Switzerland, even Turkey. UK ‘ll pay though! Nu such thing as having your cake and eat it!
But please stop asking us who fought passionately to remain to respect the hollow victory of brexit cheats. That is to democracy as doping is to sports.
I leave you with a graph from British Election Study, an academic group dedicated to voting trend research. It has found that the portion of Leave voters who regret their vote (or “don’t know”) is greater than the total margin of victory for Brexit. The poll was also noticed by The Economist: (note I found this source after penning the above post so my 10% guess not far off)
That level of post-poll regret is unusual; only 4% of voters regretted their ballot in the 2015 general election.
The margin in the Brexit vote was 52% to 48% in favour of Leave. The BES study suggests that if the vote were taken again today then Britain would stay inside the EU.