Sunday, June 26, 2016

Let them eat cake

The people have spoken - the ignorant, bigoted, little-Englanders who are too old and stupid to know what is good for them (or so churlish Remain supporters would have us believe) had the gall to opt out of the great European superstate.

The reaction to the Brexit vote in the last few days has been unsurprising, given the contempt the political elite and their supporters showed for Leave supporters in the lead up to the vote. The irony of this reaction is that it is exactly why the Leave side won. When the political elite treats the rest of the population with contempt, they shouldn't be surprised when the rest rise up and destroy that which the elite hold dear. Thus has been the case with all political revolutions throughout history. It was 'let the eat cake' all over again.

This was only the second British referendum on membership of the EU since 1975 when Britain proposed joining what was then called the European Economic Community. Successive UK governments have since signed up to the Maastricht Treaty (1992), the Amsterdam Treaty (1997) and the Treaty of Lisbon (2007), amongst other commitments, without seeking a mandate from the British people to extend the reach of the EU into British domestic affairs. In fact, the entire political model of the EU seems to be about gaining ever-increasing power for Brussels without seeking any democratic mandate to do so.

Anyone who has a ounce of political sense could have foreseen that this carefully-crafted, undemocratic accretion of power would start to unravel sooner or later. The only question now is whether or not Britain will be the last of the EU member countries to leave, with politicians in The Netherlands, France, Italy, Sweden and Denmark calling for similar referenda for their countries.

There is already a rear-guard action being fought against the Leave decision with a petition for a second referendum and for another Scottish independence referendum, but there is no reason for a British Government to respond to these calls. Those who opposed the Brexit decision need to accept the majority decision and give the British Government (whoever leads it) time to negotiate Britain's new relationship with the EU and other countries. Predictions of disaster will, I am sure, come to nothing and, given time, the Remain supporters might be surprised by the positive outcomes of the decision for Britain.

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