Tuesday, June 28, 2016
The defeated Remain campaign were always going to be sore losers. They must not be allowed to get away with overturning the result of the referendum.
In refusing to accept the outcome, they have shown their innate contempt for democracy and aim to frustrate the clear will of the majority of the electorate.
They have become so used to getting their own way that their petulance is no great surprise. We should tell them to go forth and multiply. The people have spoken and our decision must be respected and implemented in full.
But while the graceless arrogance and temper tantrums of the Remain brigade were only to be expected, there are worrying indications that some leaders of the victorious Leave camp are starting to back-pedal, too.
Tory Brexiteer Daniel Hannan, one of the most consistently impressive anti-EU voices, showed the first signs of going wobbly during an interview on BBC2’s Newsnight
Tory Brexiteer Daniel Hannan, one of the most consistently impressive anti-EU voices, showed the first signs of going wobbly during an interview on BBC2’s Newsnight.
He said the vote to leave and regain control of our borders did not necessarily mean that the numbers of immigrants coming to Britain would be reduced. Hannan suggested any new deal to retain access to the single market could also involve having to accept freedom of movement.
That would entail the Brexit campaign reneging on its promise to cut immigration to the tens of thousands. Challenged by presenter Evan Davis, Hannan tried to pretend that Leave had never said there would be a ‘radical decline’ in the headline figures.
Sorry, but that’s not what most people thought they were voting for. Our inability to prevent millions of migrants moving here at will was probably the defining issue of the entire campaign.
Boris Johnson, too, appears to be claiming now that immigration was not the ‘number one reason’ we voted for Brexit and has started sucking up to Bank of England boss Mark Carney, who should be given a one-way ticket home to Canada after abusing his office to bolster Remain.
Johnson wrote yesterday: ‘We must reach out, we must heal, we must build bridges — because it is clear that some have feelings of dismay and loss and confusion.’
Boris Johnson, too, appears to be claiming now that immigration was not the ‘number one reason’ we voted for Brexit and has started sucking up to Bank of England boss Mark Carney (pictured)
Fair enough, but statesmanlike magnanimity in victory should not translate into feeble concessions when it comes to renegotiating Britain’s relationship with Europe.
Nor should it mean watering down a clear mandate from the British people simply to salve the hurt feelings of those who voted the wrong way.
If some distressed souls are genuinely experiencing ‘dismay, loss and confusion’ then they should seek solace in a psychiatrist, priest or bottle of Smirnoff. Boris may divide opinion, but he’s played a blinder over the past few months and deserves to be favourite to succeed David Cameron. To the victor the spoils and all that.
Johnson wrote yesterday: ‘We must reach out, we must heal, we must build bridges'
Even if you think BoJo clambered on board the Leave bandwagon for cynical reasons of personal advancement, so what? He showed genuine leadership, which is more than most of his colleagues did.
Boris spoke for Britain at a time when Cabinet members, including the Prime Minister and Chancellor, were talking the country down.
Certainly, thick-as-Bisto Theresa May shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near No 10. She spent the campaign hiding behind the sofa while others were putting their careers on the line.
As I reported recently, when it came to Brexit, Theresa found herself in a minority of one at a meeting of 200 Conservative supporters in her own Maidenhead constituency.
If she’s so out of touch with voters in her own backyard, how on earth can she expect to lead a Britain in which more than 17 million people voted against her stance on Europe?
Just in case you still think Theresa’s the way ahead for the Tories and the country, it’s worth reminding yourself that, as Home Secretary, she has been in charge of the immigration shambles for the past six years.
There have also been hints that Boris may be considering rehabilitating George Osborne by offering him the Foreign Office in return for his backing in the leadership contest.
That would not only be a serious mistake, it would be a slap in the face for everyone who voted Leave.
Boy George was the architect of the worst aspects of Project Fear. His apocalyptic warnings of economic ruin if we voted to get out were reprehensible.
Here’s what finally convinced me that Osborne was not a man ever again to be trusted with public office.
A couple of days before the referendum, I was listening to Nick Ferrari’s phone-in show on LBC radio. A man called in to complain that his 86-year-old widowed mother had rung him in a state of panic after hearing Osborne’s disgraceful warning that her pension would be in peril if we didn’t vote for Remain.
The race for the Tory leadership has begun after Cameron announced he would step aside the morning after Britain voted to leave the European Union
She was understandably beside herself with worry.
What kind of despicable individual preys on the fears of the elderly for political gain? Osborne should be thoroughly ashamed of himself.
More to the point, as Foreign Secretary, Osborne would inevitably have to be involved in the negotiations for Britain to leave the EU — something to which he is vehemently opposed. Would you trust him not to sell us out in Brussels?
Extracting ourselves from this corrupt, anti-democratic racket is going to be a long slog, but we are negotiating from a position of strength. There’s no reason why we can’t emerge from the process with everything we want, from control of our borders to reclaiming our traditional fishing waters.
It is a time, in Shakespeare’s words, to stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood and disguise fair nature with hard-favoured rage.
There must be no role for resentful Remainers, nor must Leave dilute our demands or lose their nerve.
If the embittered EU-fanatics think they can bully us out of fulfilling our nation’s independent destiny, then they have learned nothing from this bruising referendum campaign.