Four more Brexit myths propagated by Remainers that need to be busted
9th October 2019
Written by Dr Sean McGlynn
Dr Sean McGlynn is a university lecturer and a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society who has written widely on EU matters.
Following my recent piece busting the Remainer myth that “Brexit has caused a national crisis”, here are four further disingenuous fabrications that you can expect to be promulgated widely in the media in the coming days.
1. Another referendum is the democratic response to the crisis
Note that this ‘solution’ comes as a result of the mythical, fabricated “Brexit crisis” I wrote about previously. The flagrant dishonesty of calling for another referendum is appalling; any future one would constitute a blatant abuse of democracy. What would make the referendum of 2016 invalid and the next one valid? The simple answer is ‘nothing’.
Of course, this is the choice of the anti-democratic EU: any previous national referendum that did not produce the outcome our overlords in Brussels desired was ignored with countries made to vote again, something for which various previous leaders of Ireland, Denmark and France should be ashamed of themselves.
The Remainer Fundamentalists patronisingly tell us that “we are now all better informed about Brexit” (Orwellian Newspeak for being more softened up by Remainer propaganda). Again, we are in exclusionary epistocratic territory. The great fallacy of this is exposed by the de haut en bas of those very same people who condemned the supposedly knuckle-dragging, xenophobic, racist, working-class Brexiteers as being too thick to know what they were voting for. Now these enlightened ones want the same Morlock voters to pass judgment on the mind-boggling minutiae of international trade law and foreign policy implications.
Since 1973 there have been 13 national or regional referendums in the UK. Five of these were on devolution for Scotland (1979, 1997) and Wales (1979, 1997, 2011) and another was on Scottish independence (2014) – all sharing the common Brexit theme of regaining more autonomy from a larger, neighbouring political entity. Yet how many of these were followed after the result with immediate and sustained demands for a second referendum from leading figures in the Establishment? Quite.
The most dishonest argument for another referendum is: “What can be wrong with asking the people to express their democratic will?” Apart from the obvious answers that the people have already expressed their will and that a continuous loop of referendums would ensure no democratic action would ever be taken, there is something at play here which I term democratic democracide. Morphine is an essential tool in serious health matters; an overdose of it will kill the patient. Democratic democracide is similarly the murder of democracy through a deliberately applied overdose – as a second referendum would be. That’s not an issue if one’s only concern about democracy seems to be that there is that there is too much of it in the first place. It’s reminiscent of Bismarck in late nineteenth-century Germany, when he attested that he would “ruin parliamentarianism by parliamentarianism”.
2. The people didn’t vote for No Deal
This is an omniscient opinion of Remainer Fundamentalists who claim they know what the electorate thinks in the privacy of the voting booth. Selective amnesia applies again here. It’s as if Project Fear never happened. One of the most remarkable aspects of the Remain campaign was the relentless (and still ongoing) outpouring of catastrophism that would befall Britain if we leave the EU. All manner of economic disasters (and even World War III) was thrown into the media mix. The apocalyptic horrors of being out of the Customs Union, out of the Single Market and the prospects of No Deal were comprehensively included in the Project Fear message.
And here is another example of their convenient selective amnesia. In June 2017 the House of Commons voted 3:1 against a ‘soft Brexit’. And page 36 of the Tory manifesto for the 2017 election states: “No deal is better than a bad deal for the UK”.
The cynical disingenuousness of the Establishment is breath-taking here. The government of the day, headed by Prime Minister Theresa May and Chancellor Philip Hammond, refused to make sufficient preparations for a no-deal Brexit, thereby making any such eventual scenario more traumatic than it need be, while at the same time ensuring that most MPs would not vote for it the Commons. A perfect piece of self-fulfilling sabotage.
3. We need to compromise to heal the divisions caused by Brexit
While this sounds all sweet and reasonable, it actually means Remain lost the vote but Fundamentalists won’t accept the result. In fact, in many ways, I am naturally inclined to the position of compromise: would it not reflect the closeness of the referendum result?
But referendums – and politics – don’t work like that. If Party A were to win the next general election with 52% of the vote, does that mean they would implement only 52% of their own policies and 48% of the policies of Party B and Party C? Of course not. There are arguments that can be made for a PR voting system but, for good or ill, we don’t have such a system for our national politics.
Remainer Fundamentalists love to express their dismay and anguish by claiming that Brexit has caused massive divisions in the country. Again, this myth is either an ignorant or deliberate distortion of the truth. There is one thing and one thing only that has caused the country’s divisions: the refusal of so many to accept the results of the democratic process.
Do we go on and on about how divided the country is after a general election? Or how the election has caused massive rifts within the country? No – because the vast majority of people recognise that the democratic procedure has taken its course. Again, this is just further evidence of the contempt Remainer Fundamentalists hold for democracy.
4. We want the softest of Brexits – or no Brexit at all – to protect the working classes
And here we are back to our political classes knowing what is better for ‘ordinary’ people than the people themselves. Yes, all those Remainer Fundamentalist MPs who have made a linear progression from A-Level Politics to Parliament, avoiding close contact with, or delay in, the real world, now quarantined in their Westminster bubble as they plan their next career move (with the EU providing that ever-present silk safety net for failed politicians) – yes, they understand the real-life struggles of “ordinary” people better than the people themselves. Of course, they occasionally come into contact with their constituents; but any who do not share the rose-tinted views of their MP can simply be dismissed as ignorant, bigoted and wrong.
One of the most egalitarian and touching points about the Referendum is that, for once, every single vote mattered equally. (Well, apparently, anyway.) David Cameron, the Prime Minister who initiated the plebiscite, promised that Parliament would honour the vote: the decision of the people would be implemented, he told us; it was the choice of the voters, not of politicians, Cabinet Ministers and MPs. Maybe he even meant it – but how wrong he was. If MPs take the line of protecting their constituents from their choices, they are infantilising them. In ignoring the voice of voters, they are denying them the dignity of being heard.
And, of course, they are crushing the very democracy they are meant to protect.
We are genuinely in a position where democracy is in great peril in this country. 45 years of EU “membership” has so corrupted our political classes and inured them to anti-democratic erosion, that at this moment in time over half of Parliament is happily and actively engaging in suppressing democracy in Britain. There can be no stronger argument for leaving the EU.