I, along with much of the Country, was appalled and devastated by the outcome of Thursday’s Referendum on our membership of the EU.
While there were doubtless some Leave supporters who had the best of intentions, I fear the vast majority were manipulated into voting Leave for spurious, dubious, and factually incorrect reasons. In effect, they were bamboozled.
I did not see one credible reason being put forward by the Leave Campaign as to why we should leave. Their xenophobic campaign was based on lies and disinformation, deliberately trying to appeal to a little Englander mentality.
On the basis that the information delivered to the Electorate was not legitimate, I would argue that the legitimacy of a 52-48 Vote outcome is also moot.
Equally, such a close result cannot be said to be the decisive outcome that we should require of such a monumental decision.
The Fixed Term Parliaments Act 2011 requires the support of 2/3 of the House in order to call for a General Election outside of the otherwise fixed 5 year term. I would argue that something equally (if not more) important to the Nation’s Democracy like an In/Out Referendum on our membership to the EU requires a similarly high benchmark to demonstrate a decisive majority is in favour.
On that basis, I have joined with some 3.5 million other UK Citizens in signing a petition on the Government’s website calling for a further referendum in the event of a less than 60% outcome of 75% turnout (https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/131215).
Even Nigel Farage himself claimed pre Referendum that ‘in a 52-48 referendum this will be unfinished business by a long way. If the remain campaign win two-thirds to one-third that ends it’.
While I understand that a Referendum is not legally binding on Government (which in itself strikes me as odd), I also understand that any such Referendum will (quite rightly) place enormous political pressure on them to adopt the outcome.
In light of the hugely devastating affect this Referendum has already had on our Economy in just a few days, and the human costs to our society with the escalated, xenophobic scapegoating of Citizens deemed to be ‘immigrants’, I would ask you to urge the Government to very carefully consider the effects of blindly following the result.
I understand that any Trade Agreement reached with the EU outside of membership is likely to have similar costs attached to those we already pay, alongside equal requirements for Freedom of Travel for EU Citizens. So what exactly is the point and/or difference to us being outside of the EU as opposed to inside it?
Boris Johnson this evening wrote a very odd, conciliatory article in the Telegraph outlining his vision of this (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/06/26/i-cannot-stress-too-much-that-britain-is-part-of-europe–and-alw/).
His considered opinion seems to be that the only actual difference would be in us removing ourselves from the requirements to follow EU Law. Given the Tories’ ongoing desire to diminish and revoke Human Rights and Trade Union Laws, this strikes me as deeply worrying.
It transpires that neither the Leave Campaign, nor (bizarrely) No 10 had made any plans AT ALL for what would happen after a vote in favour of Brexit.
Please call for another Referendum as soon as possible in order to clarify the position before Article 50 has been invoked (article 50 notifies notifies the EU of a member state’s desire to leave the Union (NB this has never been done before)).
Please call for that Referendum to have suitably robust requirements for what constitutes a ‘win’ (preferably as per the Government website petition sited above – which I believe is based on standard EU Referendum requirements).