Sunday, July 03, 2016

Post referendum emails.

Ten days on from the EU Referendum, the fallout continues. The next few weeks will be about the election of a new Prime Minister. But there's a lot more too. Here's a flavour of what's being said.

Had a stack of emails from constituents over last week, asking me to take positions I simply cannot agree to. Most have been calling on me to back a re-run of the EU Referendum. Now wait a minute! 17.4 million people voted to leave - the biggest vote in the  history of Britain. And I'm told only 72.2% of the voting population actually voted, as if that is a low percentage, justifying a re-run. It's an astonishingly high percentage. And it so happens that no-one has told me to my face that I should renege on my promises, and the Gov't's promises, to accept the Referendum result. Some have told me they abstained because, after much thought, they did not know which way to vote. Much as it disappoints me not to accede to constituent's requests, there is no way I will support a 2nd referendum - in the foreseeable future anyway. 

It seems that the claims of the campaign team backing Leave have conned millions of voters! "Lies, lies, lies" they shout. Let's consider this. So happens I agreed with the criticisms of the claims about £350million a week going into the NHS. It was an unsustainable claim. My colleague MP, Sarah Woollaston jumped sides and voted remain because she could see it was unsustainable. I said it was unsustainable. It was one reason why I did not campaign for Leave at all. But the reality is you would have to have been very very gullible to have believed it. Not sure it had much impact at all.

I thought the claims of the Remain side were far far worse. Mainly because they were being made by the Gov't, and connected parties like Mark Carney, who let himself and the Bank of England down. The claims were so ridiculous that very few actually believed  them. And we need to remember that the Leave side had no official support to prepare their arguments, while the Remain side had the entire Civil Service. In my view a lot more voters believed the Gov't backed Remain 'false nonsense' than believed the Leave side 'false nonsense'. So I don't think that impacted on the vote either.

The one comment in many of these emails that really 'narked' me is that those of us who voted Leave have sacrificed the future of our children and grandchildren - (almost knowingly) as if they care about theirs more than I care about ours. The reason I've always opposed membership of the EU (and the EEC before it) is to ensure that my children and grandchildren are not governed by an undemocratic bureaucracy in Brussels, rather than a Government they can remove from office if they want to. As soon as I read that line about "children and grandchildren" a surge of resentment washes over me.

Also being asked whether I think a PM who voted remain can take the UK out of the EU. I certainly think they can. What matters is not which side they campaigned on, but how determined they are to implement the clear majority decision of the voters of the United Kingdon, the voters of Wales and the voters of Powys. I believe Stephen Crabb and Theresa May would do that. 

And the final comment I'll make is about the odd way the losing side has persuaded the media to search out voters who claim to have changed their minds. The position is that the BBC in particular wanted us to vote Remain, and are intent on undermining the voters decision. It's not going to happen.   I recall the vote to create a Welsh Assembly in 1997, which the media generally supported. 50.3% voted Yes on a 50% turnout. No-one went around then searching out those who had 'changed their minds'. I do also recall that there were huge numbers who were opposed to devolution and thought not voting was an effective way of stopping it. Those, like me, who had opposed devolution simply accepted the result. That's the proper response to a referendum result.

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