The Campaign To Undermind The Vote
By Richie Allen, Radio Presenter, Manchester.
It’s been an amazing 24 hours, it really has. When the polls closed across the UK at 10PM last night, I was deflated. A YouGov poll suggested that Vote Remain would carry the day by a margin of two to three points. Even UKIP’s Nigel Farage conceded remain was likely to win. Boris Johnson, speaking to commuters on the tube, as he made his way home, appeared despondent and pessimistic.
Nobody could have guessed that less than 24 hours later, the British political landscape would have changed utterly and Prime Minister David Cameron would resign on live television, having lost the referendum he called, only four months ago. Leave carried the day, winning by a four point margin. The British people have spoken. Well, the British people have screamed actually.
Cameron said in his farewell address, that is important that the will of the people be accepted and that the British government should move quickly. He said that article 50 of The Lisbon treaty, should be triggered ASAP. That sounded good. Cameron had said while campaigning, that in the event Vote Remain lost, there would be no delay in informing Brussels of the UK’s intention to leave and to begin a period of negotiation over the UK’s future relationship with the union. That’s what he said then and that’s what he said today.
But I am worried. This afternoon, former mayor of London Boris Johnson and current justice secretary Michael Gove, the leading lights in the Vote Leave team, said there was no rush to invoke article 50. “There is no need for haste,” Johnson said. “As the Prime Minister has just said, nothing will change over the short term except that work will have to begin on how to give effect to the will of the people and to extricate this country from the supranational system.”
But that’s not what the prime minister said is it? Johnson went on to say he foresaw meetings with leaders of EU member states in advance of invoking article 50 and serving notice Britain would leave. This is very alarming. Meeting with EU officials before triggering Article 50? Why? Well, maybe this has something to do with it. Sky News called the referendum for Vote Leave at 4.45AM this morning. Within minutes, their chief political correspondent Faisal Islam, said he imagined a scenario, where Merkel, Hollande, Juncker and Tusk, would come back to Britain, with another deal! Islam said that this deal might offer the option of The UK remaining in the common market, but retaining more control of who enters the country from other member states. This has been repeated on British TV and radio this afternoon, by other commentators.
As an Irishman, the alarm bells have begun ringing and ringing loud. Remember, my country, The Republic of Ireland, was the only country, to hold a referendum on whether or not to ratify The Lisbon Treaty. It took place in June 2008. The Irish rejected it, but a year later, the Irish government came back to the electorate, on the orders of Brussels, with an allegedly better deal. A referendum weary public rolled their eyes and sighed, but the government and the EU won the day and the treaty was ratified. I’ve never known anything as undemocratic. I remain convinced that the EU would have come back again and again if necessary, until the Irish did what they were told.
So I am worried. David Cameron, who will remain as PM until October, should be triggering Article 50 tonight, or tomorrow at the latest. The British people have made their decision. The fact that he hasn’t and that the victors are saying there is no rush, while the media talk of counter offers from the cabal in Brussels, leaves me very worried indeed. In the absence of any real media, we in the independent media, must work harder than ever, to remind people, that while today is a great day and one to be enjoyed, the real work begins now. We have to make sure that pledges made pre-referendum, are honoured and quickly. There should be no talk of any new deal, or another referendum. The process of leaving should begin now, not next month or next year.