Second guessing the electorate

21 Nov

I was listening to the radio 5 politics show yesterday and Oliver Letwin, talking about Brexit was being interviewed. He said something to the point that the referendum result had to be respected, and that the UK would probably not be able to control EU immigration if it remained in the single market, and most people had voted to control such immigration. He insisted that the only option was the so-called ‘hard Brexit’.

Now a couple of things occur to me now. Firstly, when I engage in conversation with Leavers and ask them what they wanted, they generally say that we should be free of EU political control. They do not say they voted that way to curb immigration.

Secondly, polls show that if offered the choice between leaving the single market and remaining in it, the vast majority wish to remain in it. They are also prepared to allow EU immigration if it means we can stay within the single market.

What Letwin’s remark shows is that the government is trying to second guess what the electorate wanted. The Referendum question was simply to leave the EU or remain in it, and made no mention of immigration. Last week I watched a compilation video of speeches made by the leading Leavers before the referendum. Every one of them insisted that leaving the EU did not mean leaving the single market. They either did not understand or they lied. Either way the electorate were misled.

So now we find the government pushing us towards a type of Brexit that the vast majority do not want on the back of an issue that is not even relevant to most of the voters. How is that respecting the wishes of the people?


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