Apologies for the title, but I’m angry because my country has been stolen by liars.
It feels like there has been a coup. There are no tanks on the streets, but the prime minster has resigned because he tried to campaign on facts and was defeated by bare faced lies told by liars.
I’ve seen a lot of posts telling remain voters like me to get back in their box. That we are cry babies, unable to accept democracy. I’ve used similar arguments myself in the past talking about general election results. But there’s a difference: there will always be another election where people can choose a different outcome – there is no such possibility here; and, at all the elections I’ve ever voted in, the Labour and Conservative parties ran on manifestos and promised to implement them. What they promised had at least a factual basis. The leave campaign at the EU referendum lied, and lied again until they were blue in the face – but no one seemed to mind. They lied about the NHS, about EU funding, about free movement of workers, about the economy, even about leaving the EU. In case anyone is any doubt, the UK remains part of the EU and will do for years to come. The vote in the referendum was advisory, not binding. Lets look at some of these breath taking lies and the related issues for a moment.
NHS Lies: The bare faced admission of lies began early as Nigel Farage admitted in an interview that the claim that £350 million a week that was paid to the EU could be diverted to the NHS was a mistake.
Compare this with his pre-referendum comments that the EU contributions should be spent on “schools, hospitals, and GPs” see: Farage does a U turn on health spending
Prices will rise: Simon Wolfson, the chief executive of Next and a prominent supporter of leave has admitted that the price of food and clothing will increase as the value of the pound falls on international markets in response to brexit. See: Wolfson admits prices will rise
The Daily Mail and Sun, both UK papers supporting the leave campaign, respectively published columns admitting the consequences of Brexit include buying goods or services from other countries will become more expensive and prices/inflation will rise. Holidays, flights, alcohol and food will be more expensive. The cost of phone calls abroad will increase because it is the EU that caps these charges.
Free migration will continue: Free movement of people will continue: In a startling admission for the leave side, Daniel Hannan MEP (a Conservative leave campaigner) has admitted that free movement of people will continue. So the central premise of the leave campaign, that to vote leave would lead to controls on migration, was entirely false. I’m beyond gobsmacked. I’m incredibly angry. I never wanted controls on free movement in the first place, but a vast number of people voted on the basis free movement would end.
Britain remains in the EU indefinitely: While stating that work will have to begin on giving effect to the will of the people Boris has stated he is in no hurry to give an article 50 notice. So, in effect Britain remains part of the EU indefinitely.
Many leave voters didn’t really want to leave: All of that is before you get to the people who voted to leave and now regret it. They thought they were registering a protest vote, not realising there is no protest vote in a referendum.
This article from the Washington Post makes it clear that people didn’t know what they were voting for.
What next: The country is in chaos. The prime minister has resigned, leaving no clear plan for the future. It seems clear the politicians who will form the next government have no clear plan either. Our children’s future is threatened by a decision they’ve played no part in.
Leaving all of that aside, at the time of writing this, 2,699,234 people have signed a petition demanding a second referendum on EU membership. I encourage UK readers of this website to sign the petition. Protests are planned on Tuesday in major cities across the UK. I plan to join the protest in Trafalgar square. It seems the devolved executives in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales have a veto on an article 50 notice, such that serving it will result in a constitutional crisis.
I can only hope the wider population realises that they’ve been sold a big lie before it’s too late. None of this is easy. In fact it’s horrible. But that’s the point. In the words of the manic street preachers: “If you tolerate this, your children will be next”. Not in my name. I won’t go quiet into that long night.