EU acolytes repeatedly trot out the line that a vote to Leave, like mine, was based on emotion. It’s true that many of us discounted potential, short term, economic challenges in comparison with the political and spiritual advantages of regaining our independence. But I for one was not driven by any kind of fuzzy logic, and made a data-informed decision. Surely one of the most relevant items of information is the ultimate fate of the last attempt at a big federation of disparate nations/states: the USSR. In my lifetime I observed this behemoth dominate through political and military repression for many years, only to be dissolved by collective action on the part of unarmed subjects. With that as a matter of recent historical fact, why would people in Brussels – and some misguided souls here – think it a good idea to both expand the EU territorially, and at the same time step-up its power to implement centralist governance?
Yet many here do. And as long as there are several reasons why others would prefer to Leave, a balanced consensus is unlikely. Especially so when today’s proliferation of media channels encourages a continuous transmission of messages from all points across the spectrum of opinion on the Brexit issue. Leavers, correctly, say that the basic Leave/Remain decision was delegated to ‘The People’ by the mechanism of the Referendum. Now it is up to the Politicians to get that decision implemented. That would have been fine, but for the fact that the people constituting the Parliamentary body have views as diverse as ‘The People,’ and thus there is no political majority view. This means there will be a messy outcome. But to get to an outcome we must.
One measure which would help by narrowing the range of ‘solutions’ over which there must be deliberation, relates to the vexed question of an MPs’ own view, versus that of their constituency. Accepting that our system provides for an MP to represent their constituents rather than simply act as their delegate, considerable hurt is felt in an area where the Leave vote achieved a substantial majority yet its MP is a staunch Remainer. One understands why such an MP finds it hard to deliver a parliamentary vote contrary to their own convictions, but that is one person seeking comfort whilst consequently causing discomfort to thousands of the opposing view. My suggestion is that the party machines be utilised to enforce (by whipping) a convention that in any parliamentary vote involving the option of abandonment of Brexit as an outcome, an MP must Abstain (rather than vote in favour of abandonment) if their constituency majority in the Referendum was for Leave.