LETTER: Referendum - vote was not an opinion poll

Picture: Bruce Rollinson
Picture: Bruce Rollinson

Doctor Swallow (Postbag, March 2) says the referendum was ‘legally constituted as an advisory vote, and the outcome should have been seen as an opinion poll’.

This pleads a technical nicety that became irrelevant as soon as the Government issued a leaflet to every household, costing £9.3million, which said: ‘The referendum on Thursday, June 23, is your chance to decide if we should remain in or leave the European Union… This is your decision. The Government will implement what you decide.’

So that’s not an opinion poll, is it? And no serious politician in the campaign said the result would be advisory – quite the opposite. This perhaps explains why the turnout, at 72 per cent, was much higher than in the 2015 general election.

Would the ‘remainers’ still be whining today if the result had gone the other way? I don’t think so. Remember: they picked a fight on the territory they chose, with rules they chose and at a time they chose. They had all the main parties on their side. They had Obama, Merkel, Blair, Major, Mandelson and the CBI lecturing us from the heights of their moral and intellectual superiority. They had ‘Project Fear’ threatening financial meltdown and an emergency budget if we voted for Brexit. But they still lost – even to an incoherent ‘leave’ campaign with its pipe dream of loads more money to spend on the NHS.

Dr Swallow calls for common sense. But many people voted ‘leave’ for two common-sense reasons.

First, they were fed up of being misled about net immigration which, at about one million every three years, they judged too high for the UK to cope with (half of that number comes from the EU and thus cannot be limited.) Second, they were fed up of being misled about the EU. For 40 years it’s been sold to us as being mainly about trade, but has turned into a project to achieve ever-closer political union leading to an EU superstate.

Now the EU has shown its true colours with renewed threats of punishment beatings if we don’t kow-tow in the coming negotiations. The EU has done many good things, but to be a member state now looks like being a prisoner held for ransom, with the jailers making ever-rising demands for money if we want to escape. Mr Bostin’s letter (March 2) claims the UK has been ‘reduced to rubble’ by Brexit and the Tories. Yet, since the vote, employment is up, business confidence is up, growth is up and the stock market is up.

Large parts of the country outside the London bubble have experienced a tidal wave of joy.

For once they’ve given a bloody nose to the Liberal Left who dominate the schools, universities, teacher-training colleges, the arts, the House of Lords, the judiciary, racial and identity politics, the trade unions and the broadcast media, especially the BBC.

On a related topic, Sol Oyuela of Unicef (Postbag, February 23) damns the Government for not accepting enough child refugees.

He calls it ‘heartbreaking’ that we’ve only taken 350 instead of the 3,000 promised under the dubs scheme. Yet on ‘Peston on Sunday’ (ITV, Feb 26), Amber Rudd, the Home Secretary, said: ‘The fact is, we took 8,000 children last year into this country and settled them. Three thousand arrived unaccompanied and illegally and have settled here. These numbers are large.’

As there’s no reason to think Amber Rudd was lying, I do hope Mr Oyuela will write again to congratulate the UK on its humanitarian actions.

Martin Cutts

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