If we are honest with ourselves we would have to admit that at some point in our lives most of us have been sore losers. In fairness to some of the remain die-hards I doubt I would have given up if the referendum had gone the other way – even if it had been an overwhelming defeat. I do understand the feeling of losing out on a democratic vote, particularly when you feel strongly about something. As a very young voter I remember my shock at the defeat of Neil Kinnock and the Labour Party by John Major’s Conservatives, I simply could not accept the fact that millions had rejected Labour, it seemed such an obvious moral choice. To my mind by voting for the Conservatives people had chosen self-interest over kindness and humanity and it took me a number of years to finally accept that for all his charm and decency Neil Kinnock was unable to convince the nation that his party could be trusted with power. It took me longer still to appreciate that people who have a different political outlook are not by definition heartless sociopaths.
Demonising millions of other people who voted differently is a sin I have been guilty of in the past so I cannot complain too much when I am on the receiving end of it. I do get it, I do understand the emotion at play. Yet there is a world of difference between the frustrated rantings of a nonentity like me and the expressed views of politicians and recognised political commentators and the reverence their sneering attitude is given by the elite media. My ability to make fun of millions of people is a faint murmur drowned out by the megaphone mocking passed off as humour by a trained cadre of globalist comedians, the jesters of the Dark State, that the BBC loves to pour out across the airwaves night and day, unchallenged.
The efforts to demonise me have certainly succeeded if the plan was to divide our society, but if the plan was to make me change my mind it has failed dismally. My heart has hardened further, I can think of few issues in my life where I am so certain I am right. For too long now a self-declared ‘Liberal’ elite has automatically assumed that only they should control the levers of power. They have become too accustomed to having things their own way, too fond of dictating to the lower classes about how the future is shaped, and they are unwilling to share power. Now their ambitions have been checked and in their fury their mask has dropped and I can see them for what they are. Now I want nothing more than to see a world where a small elite are never given so much control again and my determination to see that happen grows daily.
The vilification of leave voters will continue to sow division in our society but in itself will not halt our exit from the EU. Assuming we remain as a passable democracy it is difficult to see how the vote can be overturned. Whenever I hear that the vote should be ignored no remain ultra has ever provided me the answer when I ask exactly what country do they expect to live in if that happened? No government could ever claim any legitimacy, social cohesion would break down, there would almost certainly be civil disobedience and quite likely wide scale civil unrest in a country where 17.4 million people have been told they are second class citizens, that their votes don’t count.
Fortunately we live in a country where people are a decent bunch on the whole, so a lot of credit must go to the vast majority of people who voted to stay in the EU but have accepted the outcome of the referendum. I not only admire their dignity in defeat, in time I believe it will be seen that it is their sense of fair play that saved our democracy. I believe our political establishment has made this realization, so if the vote cannot be overturned then what options are there within the democratic process to somehow keep the nation in the EU? Step forward the second referendum – disguised as the vote on the final deal.
The opening gambit to this is the constant refrain from remain ultras that we leave voters didn’t know what they were voting for (we did, the choice was binary, stay in the EU or leave it) – the implication being that we didn’t vote for a hard Brexit. To a degree this is true, I always felt we could have swiftly left the EU by dropping in to the EFTA arrangements and plotting a leisurely course to independence from there – but this does not mean my second preferred option is to remain in the EU.
Yet let us examine this hard / soft Brexit narrative by flipping it. Let us say remain ultras continue successfully with their drum beat for a second referendum. What is the referendum to be about – since we have already voted to leave the EU? Is it about a soft remain where things go back to how they were in early 2016, and has the EU agreed to that? Do we maintain every single opt out and agreement? Well if it is the case (which I very much doubt) all you will achieve is to delay Brexit by a few years, there is an act of Parliament that ensures there will be a further referendum on any future transfer of powers. This would be a referendum you would almost certainly lose, there is a world of difference between a vote on membership of the EU and a vote to transfer more powers to an unelected bureaucracy. A soft remain is a dead end, a similar limbo to Brexit in name only.
Hard remain is the only game in town, the remain where the truth about the European project has to be explained to people. You will need to explain how, why and when more of the powers Parliament exercises on our behalf will be transferred to Brussels. You will need to explain how the little influence we have over our lives in general elections will be further diluted. You will somehow have to make the case that democracy will be protected (good luck with that one). You will need to explain to people how the legal framework we all operate within will be increasingly designed and developed by people who do not live in our country, know little about our way of life and the impacts their decisions have on us. You will need to explain why our service men and service women may be called upon to shed their blood fighting for an EU Army under a battle flag most of us resent.
Finally you will need to tell people the truth about the single market, I think many remain supporters are under the impression that the single market is a thing in itself, it is not, the single market is a stepping stone to the unified market and this is the thing that is being concealed from everyone on both sides of the debate. The unified market is the ultimate destination and sees the total free movement of goods, services, people and money irrespective of national boundaries. A nation state will have no real purpose in a unified market, nor will you.
So if there is a second referendum please be absolutely clear, is this a hard remain or a soft remain you are asking people to vote for?