The referendum on 23rd June is bound to create change for our nation, whatever the outcome of the vote. If the British public decide to remain in the EU, on the face of things, matters will be business as usual. However in practice that is far from the case. A number of senior people in the Conservative Party will find their political capital has diminished or grown as a result.The wisdom of MPs like Huw Merriman, MP for Bexhill and Battle may be seen in a new light by then. Not only is he not trying to persuade his constituents how to vote (a phrase that sounds bizarre – after all this is supposed to be our decision to make) but he has managed to remain above the fray of a very unpleasant debate. Whatever the outcome he looks like he made a good call.On the other hand some of the people currently being seen as the cheerleaders of the leave campaign, may have managed to reflect the views of the Party in Westminster and even the Party in the country, but they will be seen as having taken a position which has been rejected by the nation as the whole. For those people to continue to make major changes to our lives when they were on the wrong side of the EU debate will bring into question other judgments that they might make. Those like Daniel Hannan, David Campbell Bannerman and Syed Kamall who are Conservative MEPs that have all declared their support for Brexit will surely be in a position that demands a personal response. If we vote as a nation to remain in the European Parliament, then the work is only just beginning for our MEPs and officials to change tactic and in a meaningful way. We are no longer threatening to leave and demanding change, but rather committed to remaining and as such wanting to ensure that we achieve the best for the UK within the European Union and the best for the EU as a whole. Such Damascene conversions in ones and twos might be credible, but the position of Daniel, David and Syed along with all the UKIP MEPs will come into question. Can such people remain in their powerful positions until 2019 and do we need to consider a new mechanism for electing their successors so that the new voices that emerge are able to take the right decisions on behalf of the nation!
On the other hand we may be about to leave the EU and that will of course propel forward those on the Brexit side of the Government, or will it? The fact is that remaining in the EU is current Government policy. No matter how ineptlty, the Government is campaigning for us to vote in a particular way, it is they who wrote “The Government believes that voting to remain in the EU is the best decision for the UK”. So if we tell them via our votes that we disagree with them, then surely the Government must fall, just as surely as any other vote of confidence! The Government and indeed senior Ministers may be planning for a clever way of allowing David Cameron and George Osborne to remain in Downing Street, while their Brexit colleagues rearrange the public furniture for a seemingly smooth transition to a Johnson or Gove Government, but the truth is we will have rejected the call made by our Government and it is they that must make plans to leave and for a new chapter in the UK’s domestic policy as we begin to negotiate for an exit to the EU. If on 24th May we are told we have voted to leave, then that is the day when Cameron must get a cab to the Palace to tell the Queen he intends to go to the country!