Why are we still arguing about the referendum?
David Cameron once said that a vote on our membership of the European Union would “settle this European question in British politics”. Far from settled, Brexit still dominates the headlines and continues to cause a stir right across the political spectrum.
Recently, we saw the multi-millionaire, Remain-supporting rock star Bob Geldof claim that the 2016 referendum result "will screw up Britain's future". Mr Geldof has also rallied the support of other elitist names, such as Ed Sheeran and Rita Ora, and appears to be determined to stop us leaving the European Union. However, this is not the first time that we have seen this sort of behaviour. Indeed, a week after the referendum, high-profile politicians such as David Lammy iniquitously declared that Brexit must be stopped as it was an “advisory, non-binding referendum”. The constant rejection of the referendum result is, therefore, an attempt to darken the beacon of hope brought to this country by Brexit. Therefore, I will explain why some people do not want to accept the referendum result and why, more importantly, they must finally concede defeat.
On a 72 per cent turnout, 17,410,742 people voted Leave - the biggest vote in British voting history- and this even surpasses the 1975 “yes” vote on EEC membership. More than two years after this historic result, the Remoaners are still enraged and continue to reject the referendum because they claim that people were lied to. Not long ago, this case was put forward by Lord Adonis who claimed that “The Leave campaign had all the best tunes. But they were all the best tunes because they were straightforward lies”. Whilst I admit that the leave campaign propagated some untruths, such as Turkey joining the EU within the next few years, the remain campaign’s blatant lies were laughably worse. Where, for example, was the required Punishment Budget which included higher taxes? What happened to the year-long recession and the shrinking of our economy after the vote to leave? David Cameron even said that leaving could cause World War Three! Indeed, their claims have been exposed as mere scaremongering claptrap. Despite their inability to apologise to the British people for whipping up fear, these hard-line Remoaners must help us in attempting to unite the country and, crucially, join us to define a new era in Britain’s history.
However, it is too difficult for some Remoaners to simply give up. Without any shadow of a doubt, they are ideologically wedded to the European Union. The likes of Tony Blair, Nick Clegg, and Alistair Campbell- who all back the ‘People’s vote’ campaign- are fierce Europhiles and supporters of European Union integration. They will never stop trying to keep Britain in the European Union, even if that means disregarding the result of the referendum in 2016. Ironically, they are, as Nick Clegg once said, the type of people who will carry on “fighting like Japanese soldiers on some remote Pacific island long after the war is over”. In order for the ardent Remoaners to get the people back on side, rather than remaining theoretically attached to the European Union, they must do the honourable thing and accept the referendum result, move on and address the concerns which drove people to vote for Brexit.
Distrust in politicians has always been a feature democracy. Many people believe that politicians are not working in the best interests of voters and this trust problem certainly predates Brexit. However, refusing to accept the referendum result and the concerns of the British people is not how one should build trust. Whether you voted remain or leave, we all must accept the result of a democratic exercise and, vitally, unite in order to help build a Brexit that allows Britain to become a free, self-governing nation that looks after the people of this country.