As the political system whirrs back into life with the MPs returning en masse to the House of Commons, issues which were never properly dealt with in July are now being re-examined and debated again. We voted to leave the EU. A sad mistake in my opinion but that was what we did. As one of those campaigning for Brexit spoke in the week before the vote, if we vote to leave, by Friday we will have our country back. One of the reasons I voted to remain is because I knew that Michael Gove did not mean that you and I would get our country back, but instead that he and his colleagues would get to play late into the night making even more decisions on our behalf and then call it democratic repatriation or something similar. Whilst the Labour Party is tearing itself apart over who will lead it into the next election and more locally on which set of people get to run it, the Conservatives are holding their own internal debates about whether we will be in or out of the single market, about whether we will have open or closed borders (as if such a thing is possible, let alone desirable) and about what sort of deal we will strike with the 50 or so nations that we related to via the EU up until June, let alone the remaining nations in the world. The referendum was not a vote that led to national certainty and a stronger position in the world, at least in the short term. Indeed the lack of preparation for our decision, even among those who wanted us to vote to leave is breath-taking. However our views will once again be ignored and be seen as irrelevant as the professionals begin to make things up.
Examples of what I mean are contained in this article in which Lord Lawson, a French resident but British Citizen explains “The free movement of people throughout the European Union to the United Kingdom should be stopped even if it entails leaving the Single Market. People voted in large part for Brexit due to immigration, and as such the UK must move away from the doctrine of free movement, as the democratic will of the people should be respected.”
Or the Radio interview with Nigel Farage “The people were clear in wanting a points-based immigration system which is why so many went out and voted to leave the European Union,” he said. “Any watering down from that will lead to real anger.”
Or David Davis MP speaking in the House of Commons yesterday in an exchange with SNP MP Tommy Shepherd “So can I ask you if proposals emerge in the months ahead which offer the prospect of separate and different arrangements between Scotland and the European Union, will you listen to them and consider them in good faith or will you reject them out of hand?” Mr Davis, in his reply, said: “The Prime Minister said we’ll look at all proposals. Now the one you suggest, I can’t see how it would work, I really can’t, but we’ll look at it. I have to say to you, right up front, as I said to the First Minister when I spoke to her about it, I actually can’t see how that can be made to work.”