Friday, June 24, 2016

How not to react to a democratic vote

After a lot of agonising I voted remain and make no apology for it.

But I respect the result, and we all now have to work together to implement the decision of the British people - preferably in a way which keeps good relations with our neighbours (who are still our partners and allies within NATO), keeps us a positive and open society, and maximises the opportunities for British businesses and jobs by trading both in Europe and around the world.

We also urgently need to address the disengagement and disillusionment which caused so many of our people to cast what appears to have been an "up yours" vote against the establishment.

Insults and recriminations will not help.

Therefore I don't think the sort of comments Tim Farron was making this morning on TV will help that process.

Neither will some of the comments from Nigel Farage. Several prominent members of the Leave campaign have criticised Farage's describing this as a "Victory for decent people" - Fraser Nelson of the Spectator called that insult to 48% of the British people "disgusting."

A tweet from the leader of Cumbria County Council, Labour councillor Stewart Young (who supported Remain), was not particularly sensible either.

He tweeted that David Cameron's position was now "untenable" and predicted a general election in the summer and a new Scottish Indyref in 2017.

I think this sort of knee-jerk reaction is a classic example of how not to react to a popular vote.

Stewart Young was further out of line with Cumbria's voters than David Cameron was with British ones. (He came back good humouredly to my tweet pointing this out with the reply that he did not call the referendum.)

I do not expect there to be a general election in 2016. Firstly because that is quite hard to manage under the fixed term parliament act, and secondly because there is no need for one.

The government was elected on a promise to hold a referendum on Europe, it kept that promise, and the people have decided, by a narrow majority but a majority nonetheless, whether they wanted Britain in or out. The people have the result they voted for. Now parliament needs to follow the instructions it has been given and negotiate the best deal for Britain. I see no need for a new mandate.


Jim said...

I aplogise if my phone double comments, not sure why it does that. But like I said a couple of days ago we have to launch this car properly. Ok is not the smoothest ride ever, but if we do it proprely it's perfectly safe.

Anonymous said...

Can we have a vote on being a member of NATO now?

Chris Whiteside said...

Don't think either politicians or the electorate will want more referenda for a while.

If we don't lose Scotland, that factor and the oil price will probably be the main reasons.