Referendums are a comparatively rare thing in this country. They are an example of direct democracy where voters are asked to express their view on a specific issue. Referendums can be highly volatile and hard to predict, but do provide a clear overview of where the public stands on an issue and should be respected by parliament.
Even as this referendum has grown increasingly heated, this analysis has not been up for debate. This is no longer the case. Briefings have begun that in the event of a ‘Leave’ vote pro-Remain MPs would considering using their Commons majority to keep Britain inside the EU single market, meaning Britain would keep its borders open to EU workers and continue paying into the EU.
Pro-Remain MPs outnumber their Brexit colleagues by 454 to 147 and numerically there would be no issue in passing a bill to keep Britain in the single market. However this would be a clear disregard of the wishes of the British public and would show contempt for the democratic process and could further damage the already weak reputation of politicians and politics in this country.
If on June 23rd Britain votes to leave the EU, then it will have been a rejection of these policies. The debate has focused very clearly on the issue of immigration and a ‘Leave’ vote would be an endorsement of the position taken by ‘Vote Leave’ against open borders and by implication the single market. It would be a clear vote for change and a new deal.
A ‘Leave’ vote is not what the majority of the House of Commons wants, but it may be what the majority of the country wants and that has to be respected. The ‘Remain’ camp would do well to distance themselves from this and instead put all their focus into winning the referendum, not what happens after the referendum. This would end the debate and kill any chance of Britain leaving the single market and that surely has to be the ultimate aim of the ‘Remain’ side.
Article by Mike Hough
Photograph – CNBC