Fringe Box



Letter: The Brexit Decision Is Not Over Until The Fat Man Sings

Published on: 27 Jun, 2016
Updated on: 27 Jun, 2016

BrexitFrom Susan Parker

I should make clear that these are personal views  not those of the party to which I belong [Susan Parker is the leader of the Guildford Greenbelt Group (GGG)].

I know that many in the borough share my views (I voted for Remain); but there is a significant minority in Guildford for Leave, including within GGG.  I respect their views, and their right to hold them, and to express them. That is part of our democracy.

The pound is at 1985 levels after its single biggest fall ever.  All the major ratings agencies (Standard and Poor, Fitch, Moody’s) have downgraded the UK economy.  Everyone’s pension is worth about 20% less than it was last week; it will cost more for petrol and food as soon as the new value of the pound starts to bite.

The United Kingdom is rapidly becoming disunited.  We are seeing threats of violence against ethnic minorities and some anger targeted against the older members of our community.

But actually, at present, we have not done anything irrevocable.

As [former Lib Dem MP] Sue Doughty notes, an advisory referendum was held.

emails letterIn this country, Parliament is sovereign.  Our constitution is not changed in this matter by EU membership. (Sovereignty of Parliament was also something that the Leave campaigners said they wanted – although they had it already).

Unlike the proportional representation referendum a few years ago, Parliament specifically ensured that this referendum would be non-binding. This is a matter of law.

We should all recognise that this referendum has the legal status of an national opinion poll.  It is perhaps as binding as the vote for “Boaty McBoatface”.

When Parliament votes to ratify Article 50  and when that notification is given to the EU – then we will have burned our boats.

We can’t do that until after we have a new Prime Minister, which will be by September 2nd according to this morning’s speech (correct at the time of writing – it may change).

We have a very few weeks to decide if we like the new world order, or if we would rather have the old one back. We do, in this case, have a possible second chance.

If we decide as a people that we want to reverse that decision, we could ask for a second referendum (a proposal which is being taken seriously by Michael Heseltine, Tony Blair, and current MPs too like Anna Soubry and David Lammy).

Alternatively we could vote for constitutional change by means of a general election, to be decided on one major issue. I understand that this is planned for October (but this is not confirmed at the time of writing).

Damage will have been done in the interim. The pound will have fallen to a  lower level.  It will take time to recover the ratings.  We may have lost trade, and some inward investment, and some businesses will go elsewhere.  But – in my personal opinion –  there will be less damage than leaving the EU.

So – at present – it is not over. Not until the fat man sings.

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Responses to Letter: The Brexit Decision Is Not Over Until The Fat Man Sings

  1. Ben Paton Reply

    June 28, 2016 at 7:45 am

    Donnez moi un break!

    It is not the case that suddenly we are disunited. Nothing magic happened on 23 June. Reality before and after remains the same. If there had been a third option on the ballot paper asking people if they wanted to be part of a common market but not part of a political union then practically everyone would have voted for it.

    All that has happened is that the Procrustean ideas of a European political project largely constructed on French principles has been unable to adapt to a more pragmatic Anglo-Saxon view of the world. Nothing new there. It’s been going on for five hundred years. And generally Anglo-Saxon laissez-faire has delivered more for its citizens and the world than French etatism.

    Sterling, just like the Dollar, has been in relentless decline for over a hundred years. Nothing new there. Certainly no cause to use it as a barometer of national well-being.

    It’s just a negotiation. Of course the French and David Cameron tell us that the world will end if we do no give them everything they want. That’s what happens in negotiations. That’s how the French have always behaved. After all De Gaulle vetoed British entry into the common market.

    There are some people who should not be allowed to go to the Souk to buy a carpet. They’ll always be a walk-over and end up paying over the odds. The carpet sellers of Brussels just love them.

    Anyone would think that God had just excluded Mrs Parker from Paradise. Should we expect a new version of Paradise Lost?
    Behind the dazzling white light, it might surprise some Remainers that Jean Claude Junker is not God, not ever the Wizard of Oz and that the European Union is not Paradise. (The queue at Calais is to leave France and reach our Promised Land.)

    If we were French and we believed Mrs Parker’s dismal apocalyptic prognosis we would have ceased to exist years ago.

    Despite doom-mongers saying that France was finished they are still firmly on the planet despite Paris (and much/most of the country) being occupied in 1870 and 1939 by the Germans. A few Republics and currencies later and the French are still alive and well. By comparison one referendum is not going to kill off the UK. Despite Mrs Parker we still have Sterling and unlike France our central bank has never gone bust.

  2. Stuart Barnes Reply

    June 28, 2016 at 8:43 am

    If you want to start real anger possibly leading to something very nasty then just try to overturn the very clear democratic wish of our people to escape from the undemocratic, useless, hated and corrupt EU. All I can say is that the very suggestion is irrational.

    I voted for GGG but now I am afraid that I cannot do so again.

  3. John Robson Reply

    June 28, 2016 at 8:47 am

    The United Kingdom has been disunited for decades. If you’ve ever travelled beyond Watford Gap, you would appreciate this.

    This result may not be “binding”, but the will of the majority is clear, the educated but normal, hard working, minimum wage, tax credit people, not the self appointed intelligensia in London and the South East, for once, have decided.

    How many referenda do you require to get the decision that suits?

    The problem Ms Parker has is that this is a forum in affluent Surrey, you don’t have convince the people in Guildford how to vote and protect their prosperity, its the rest of the disenfranchised country you will have to deal with should this be overturned by duplicitous politicians.

    And in my opinion, this mindset and attempt to dismiss this vote as “Votey McVoteface” is a classic example of why the “plebs” are quite rightly revolting against South East.

  4. C Stevens Reply

    June 28, 2016 at 12:10 pm

    Susan Parker says that: “Parliament specifically ensured that this referendum would be non-binding. This is a matter of law.”

    Which bit of law does she have in mind? The only bit of law which seems immediately to apply is the European Union Referendum Act of 2015 and I can see nothing there.

    The act sets out the matter very simply: “A referendum is to be held on whether the United Kingdom should remain a member of the European Union.”

    We all know the result and calculatedly objectionable references to “Boaty McBoatface” won’t alter what that is.

  5. John Armstrong Reply

    June 28, 2016 at 12:36 pm

    It was only to be expected that the Remainers; if they had lost, would seek to overturn the result of the referendum.

    The result has been declared “advisory”. You can be sure that our representatives, who claim to be democratic, are working flat out out behind the scenes to overturn this result, and by some legal slight of hand will find a way of keeping us in and yet declare it the will of the people.

    David Cameron has stepped away, thereby abdicating his responsibility after declaring before the entire world that he would invoke article 50 the very next day after a vote to leave.

    That was a deliberate tactic to prolong uncertainty in the business world, damage the economy and lay the ground for a second referendum. So there was a plan for Brexit after all; a plan to undermine it.

    For those who are getting cold feet. It may comfort you know that Australia and New Zealand are already seeking a trade deal with Great Britain.

    So no, it’s not over. It’s not over until we’re out and the anti-democracy movement in the UK is finally proven to be just that.

  6. Jim Allen Reply

    June 28, 2016 at 5:30 pm

    Many have failed to recognise the importance of both the number voting and the final count.

    I am horrified that certain central figures in politics locally and nationally today are making excuses for either delaying Brexit or stopping it all together. Both actions will be seen as anti-democratic and like the Badly worded Community Charge or “Poll Tax” could result in civil disobedience.

    Someone recently said to me, “It never ceases to amaze me how illiberal the liberal elite quickly becomes when they don’t get their own way.”

    I implore everyone to ensure by peaceful means that the democratic will of the people is observed and the disgraceful shambles of the pre-referendum period is never seen again.

  7. John Perkins Reply

    July 3, 2016 at 12:56 am

    Agreed. No vote in the EU is over until the fat man signs.

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