By David Price
On the face of it, the 8th of June, 2017 was a resounding victory for the 17.4 million of us who voted to leave the European Union, a year ago. A staggering 83% of British voters got behind parties that clearly stated we would leave the EU and its single market, in their manifestos. Let that sink in. This time two years ago, only UKIP wanted this, and it of course had no serious chance of forming the next government. Back in June 2015, both the Labour Party and the Tories said they thought Britain should be inside the EU, and by extension, a member of its single market.
Not that you would know this, had you watched the BBC and Sky’s coverage of the aftermath of the 2017 general election. Indeed, if you’d been – very sensibly – lying on a Spanish beach for a week, and came back on June 9th, one would be forgiven for thinking that Britain had just voted in its first Liberal Democrat government, and that Brexit had been well and truly broken at the ballot box. For Leave-voting Labour supporters, it was a bittersweet moment; the party did unexpectedly well on a ‘take back control’ ticket and yet there was suddenly a barrage of pro-Remain propaganda. Sunday was the worst of all days, with the couches of the political chat shows sagging under the weight of Remoaners, telling the world that a so-called ‘hard Brexit’ was now unworkable. This is no more true than claiming Theresa May is the new Winston Churchill.
It was as if we had entered some bizarre alternate reality – you had to keep pinching yourself to check you were awake. Yes, 83% of voters went for a proper Brexit party. Yes, there was a a clear mandate for Brexit under a year ago, in the biggest ever vote in British history. And yes, the most recent YouGov poll says that 68% of Brits want to get on and leave the EU. But no, suddenly this didn’t matter anymore because Theresa May was ‘fatally weakened’. Humiliated and bruised she most certainly is – but that’s no more a reason to block Brexit than the tragic fire at Grenfell Tower that followed days later. What other excuses do the Remoaners need? Perhaps an inclement summer, or England’s ritual humiliation at cricket will finally ‘swing it’ in favour of staying part of the European Union? Or maybe the – ermm – resounding electoral success of the Brexit-phobic Lib Dems last week, which saw the good people of Sheffield Hallam put ‘the high priest of Remain’ Nick Clegg out of our misery. Don’t cry for him ladies and gentlemen; he’ll spend his retirement living high on the hog on his fat EU pension.
The broadcast media’s coverage of Brexit in the days after the election has reached a new low – which is really saying something considering the way it handled the aftermath of the referendum vote last June. Back then, many talking heads on TV looked shocked; David Dimbleby’s face at 4am on the morning of June 24th spoke volumes – disgust with the electorate was the truth that dared not speak its name. Pundits spent days numbly speaking on autopilot, until the continuity Remain campaign came up with the concept of ‘hard and soft Brexit’. Like a dog with a bone, BBC, Sky, ITV and Channel 4 journalists ran with it – and began to spread the collective lie that “people didn’t know what they were voting for”, and that “no one voted to leave the single market”. We Brexiteers – the silent majority – had to suffer this 24/7 for the next nine months, until Article 50 was finally triggered. It finally died down as all but Gina Miller came to terms with the Brexit vote; now though it’s back up and running with a vengeance and pundits are saying that the government has to reconsider…
No, it does not. What the government – and indeed the Labour Party which narrowly missed an audacious win – needs to remember is that a massive 83% of voters wanted a proper Brexit-supporting party running the country. UKIPers and previous non-voters came back to the main parties, both of which promised they would take back control of our governance. Any British politician that ignores this is playing fast and loose with democracy – it’s we the people they must listen to, not the champagne-soaked London media elite.
Labour Leave shares a number of viewpoints from external commentators, both Leave and Remain, without necessarily endorsing any of the viewpoints therein.
Please click on our advert above - This funds our Brexit campaign