|WHY WE DON'T SHUT UP!|
referendum was the poorest quality democracy this country has
experienced for a hundred years.
Millions of adults who were most likely to vote Remain were not allowed to vote. Some non-UK European citizens who are resident in the UK could vote (depending on whether they are citizens of the Commonwealth or Ireland) whilst most could not. 16 and 17 year-olds had been allowed to vote in the referendum on Scottish independence from the UK, on the basis that they, as young people, were most likely to be affected by the decision, but not for UK independence from the EU. 700,000 expats were not allowed to vote.
The popular media, which should be informative about the pros and cons in such an important debate as this, was heavily biased, mostly towards Leave. Some Leave campaign leaders lied about the size of our net contribution to the EU (£350 million per week) which could, instead, be distributed to the NHS. (The Chair of the UK Statistic Authority, Sir Andrew Dilnott, wrote to Norman Lamb MP pointing out that the net contribution was £136 million per week, less than a pint of beer or a small Costa Coffee each per week.)
There were lies about sovereignty, lies about borders and lies about the economics of leaving. Particularly sad was the lack of any roadmap, and sufficient effort given to helping the public to understand the true implications of leaving, some of which are only beginning to surface now.
Despite claims that the turnout was high, actually it was lower than almost two-thirds of the general election turnouts since the second world war.
As 'negotiations', in which we have zero cards to play, continue, it has become clearer, by the day, that Brexit is manifestly against the national interest of the UK. 75% of both Houses of Parliament voted to Remain because they were aware (and it is their job to be aware) of the lasting damage it would do to the UK. As patriots, they and we do not wish to see the UK sidelined from our neighbours or subject to rules we have no say about. Millions of families both in and outside the UK are going to be seriously harmed by the decision.
There is no possible way we can be part of the Customs Union or the European Economic Area without compromising our own sovereignty (no longer having any say on the trade agreements with the EU)and agreeing to the freedom of movement of people. Subject to real safeguards, free movement of people has been, and still is, beneficial to the UK. At any time the government could have halted all immigration from outside the EU (the majority of immigration is from outside the EU) but it did not do so because the health, economy, education, research and trade of the UK would have suffered. Free movement of people is extraordinarily valuable to most of the UK.
The payments to the EU for our divorce will probably be greater than seven years of payments for our membership. 47% of our trade is with the EU. If we stay in either the Customs Union or the European Economic Area we will have to pay for that membership as do Norway, Turkey and Switzerland. That payment is between 40% and 80% per head of what we are paying already, but like them, we will then have absolutely no say on the rules devised by the EU. Our power to seek opt outs or opt ins within the EU is completely lost. Our sovereignty on the rules governing 47% of our trade is lost.
The UK is our heritage and the EU our neighbours, our friends. REMAIN does not want to see the break up of the United Kingdom. Scotland is likely to want to go it alone, Gibraltar may want to do the same thing after being the staunchest ally of the UK. Any strengthening of the borders with Ireland will be grossly detrimental to peace.
We are not shutting up because this is such a bad deal, bad democracy, and a poor future. Britain does not deserve this.
Do watch the 1 hour lecture by Professor Bogdaner. He has no axe to grind either way. He is Research Professor at the Institute for Contemporary British History at King's College London and Professor of Politics at the New College of the Humanities. He believes that if Brexit is to succeed it has to result in us taking on a much more right-wing approach to trade and becoming a global free-trade centre, like Singapore or Hong Kong. That is not our culture or our nature, or something we would wish on our children and grandchildren.