It was, as Agent Smith would say, “inevitable”. Only the Lib Dems and Greens were truly for Remain. The Conservatives were split, and those in favour never sounded hopeful. Labour was for in, but very half-heartedly. The SNP was in favour of being in the European Union – but they also want independence, so actually a Leave vote works in their favour.
One of the most rancorous, divisive and corrosive campaigns is over. And so it has come to pass.
It’s wrong to label people who voted Leave as naïve, stupid or racist (even if some of them actually are) – it works both ways. Anyway, one of them was my mum, so be careful.
But we do have to look at our political leaders, the promises made and what hasn’t happened.
The Leave campaign was focused on reducing immigration and spending £350m a week on the NHS. Both arguments have been rowed back on in the last few days.
Cameron’s argument was that he would invoke Article 50 if the vote was to leave – instead, he resigned and left the decision to someone else, even though he will be PM at the European Council meeting next week, and until October. Then again, he was stupid enough to (a) offer a Referendum and (b) not double-lock it to to something like a two-thirds majority on a turnout that is the average of the last five General Elections (say).
Boris, Gove and others say we don’t need to invoke Article 50 just yet. Other EU leaders want them to get on with it. Business is looking for a steer either way.
The thought also occurs that, if the constituents of a Remain MP mostly voted Leave (or vice versa) should that MP now resign?
But here’s the thing. I voted Remain, the result was Leave. So why aren’t we leaving yet? I don’t want a second referendum or judicial review, nor do I want our MPs to use the fact that it was never a binding referendum – it’s sneaky, and I don’t want to go through another whole referendum campaign. Hell, nobody wants to go through all that again. The decision’s been made, the public have voted. ‘Leave’ should mean leave.
Or do the Leave leaders not have the courage of their convictions? Was it just a game to them?
And what happens when the more fervent “we want our country back” supporters realise that they have been duped?
The next three months should be fun. After that… less so.
And don’t forget: the United Kingdom will hold the Presidency of The European Union in the second half of 2017…