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.


Alison said...

Glyn - your post pedals another one of leaves lies, that the EU is undemocratic. None of the EU laws are adopted by the Commission. All EU legislation is adopted by the Council which consists of elected governments of the member states acting together with the European Parliament which is directly elected by the citizens.

If you want to talk about undemocractic lawmaking, then maybe start taking a look at the House of Lords first. Except I doubt you'll go there.

mairede thomas said...

Alison the EU is not a democratic institution or form of government, here’s why:-
1. Prior to the EU Referendum, the UK electorate has never been asked if it wants to be a part of the European superstate. This is anti-democratic.
2. The President of the EU Commission sets out his (yes they have all been men) political agenda and priorities, just look at the EU’s own website. We cannot vote on this political agenda, nor elect the Commission President. This is anti-democratic.
3. The EU Council meetings are not open to public scrutiny or observation, no record of these meetings is made public. So there is no transparency or accountability. This is anti-democratic.
4. The Commission draws up the Directives which become our laws. The Commission is not accountable to the EU Parliament which only has limited opportunities to comment on or alter the Directives. This is anti-democratic.
5. Once laws are made they cannot be revoked. This is anti democratic.
There are more examples, I won’t list them all here but if you still believe that the EU Institutions represent democracy then just listen to today’s EU debate by MEPs - on the Slovakian Presidency of the Council of Ministers. You will learn that most MEPs, from all political persuasions, do not agree with you and are calling for reform to make the EU democratic and to put citizens at the heart of the political project.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Glyn - I fully agree with all your comments. You have massively re-inforced my support for you.

I wondered when someone would point out that no-one tried to reverse the 1997 referendum outcome which, as you say , was decided on a much smaller margin and a much reduced turnout. 49.7% of us who were around and voted against fully accepted the result and resolved to make it work as best we could.

But I suppose "social media"was not quite so influential then and the BBC was not aware that they didn't have to employ journalists, just read Twitter comments (in the latest situation I think primarily left by the younger generation who had never experienced life before joining the EEC!). Personally I voted Leave because I wanted my son to have some control of his future and I am now much more confident that he will do so. Hooray for democracy. It has it's faults but I would not choose any other system of government.

Anonymous said...

What you seem to be saying is they are all liars, and not very good at it. I think I am in agreement with you on that.