The Bremainers, who failed to convince and lost the argument, simply need to move on, says Stephen Hill.
The result was viewed with universal disbelief by the Bremainers. Their first reaction was ‘Blame Boris’ – what, for winning? No one it seems blames David Cameron for losing: he carried out a ridiculous renegotiation, returned with a blank piece of paper, claimed to have reformed the EU, then instead of standing aside and watching disinterestedly, proceeded to back his own failure of judgement with Project Fear, which backfired so badly that he lost and had no option other than to resign.
The second reaction was ‘Blame Corbyn’ – for not trying hard enough! Many believe he should be knighted for doing his bit to regain Britain’s sovereignty and thus the protection of British workers’ jobs from uncontrolled immigration. Corbyn, it should be remembered, voted against joining the EEC in the first place, and voted against the confiscatory powers of the federalising Maastricht Treaty, which stripped the UK of its border controls and part of its foreign policy, and much else besides.
The third reaction was from the youth of the country who felt their future as Europeans had been taken away from them, when only 43 per cent of them had bothered to vote at all. They had little perception that perhaps their future and their liberty had been saved for them. In fact, most of them had obviously failed to follow the debate at all, and equated the EU with a place for holidays and future work experience, but they failed to realise there are very few jobs around in much of the EU, where there are 25 million unemployed.
This third reaction was brought home to me directly when talking with a 19-year-old first year economics student at uni in the Midlands. She had voted Brexit as her father was voting Brexit and she knew something of the reasons why. She is keeping quiet about it though, as all her tutors and friends had voted Bremain. She then handed me her mobile: I was astonished to read page after page of messages from her friends bemoaning that Brexit had won the day. What was really interesting, however, was to read that none of them had the slightest idea of why, or any of the arguments on either side. The word sovereignty wasn’t mentioned once, let alone its vast legal and economic implications.
If undergraduate economics students had no idea of the structural economic failings of the EU and its Single Currency, what hope is there for the public at large, who were mainly swayed by the immigration arguments, the force of which was all too obvious for everyone to see, with the pressure on jobs, wages, housing, hospitals, schools, and public services.
No wonder the Bremainers failed to convince and lost the argument. Thank God a majority of Brits can still think and weigh up the arguments and take a rational decision for a less risky and better future. A ‘leap into the dark?’ – my more like a return to sanity, as a poster in the US tells it clearly: ‘Brexit is a Triumph for the Simple Idea that Britain should be Governed by the British Government’. Amen to that.
Boris called it right and led the Brexiteers to victory, only to be recast as Caesar, as he was promptly stabbed by Brutus who declared he was ‘no Caesar, he!’ Gove’s Brutus’ treachery wasn’t lost on his colleagues. Then Bremainer Theresa May stood up, declaring ‘Brexit is Brexit’, but the flipside I fear is ‘Once a Bremainer, always a Bremainer!’ She is now opposed by Andrea Leadsom, a real Brexiteer. I’m rooting for her because I trust her: she does what it says on her tin.