What did People Vote for in the Referendum held Three Years ago?

A change of Prime Minister brings optimism in some and despair in others. Those who started with optimism usually find after a year or two that their optimism was misplaced. Those who reacted with despair usually find out that things are not quite as bad as they feared.  His key policy will be to brexit the UK  from the EU within the next three months and six days.

That is what we voted for, or was it?

On 6th April 2016 the government published “Why the government believed that voting to remain in the EU is the best decision for the UK” and delivered the publication to nearly 23 million households. The leaflet set out the economic arguments, stated in stark terms that leaving the EU would cost jobs and adversely affect prosperity, claimed that the UK could deal with immigration, that we would be safer in the EU and that this would be a once in a generation decision.

You can read this leaflet at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/why-the-government-believes-that-voting-to-remain-in-the-european-union-is-the-best-decision-for-the-uk/why-the-government-believes-that-voting-to-remain-in-the-european-union-is-the-best-decision-for-the-uk.

Now clearly the government told us that the vote would be binding and would be “a once in a generation decision”. The electorate of the UK read the leaflet, listened to the arguments on both sides, as electorates always do taking what politicians on all sides claim with a large pinch of salt, and then carefully voted, by a majority to leave.

By hook or by crook the elected government through the leadership of Mrs May tried to sidestep the leave vote by negotiating a withdrawal agreement that kept the UK tied to the EU for at least several years.  Many democratically elected MPs tried to set aside the democratic decision of the electorate using all kinds of sophistry. They were supported by big business who generally found it in their interests that the UK should not leave the EU, mainly because the EU is not driven by democracy but by ideology which it is impossible to change democratically.

Well, we will now see if the democratic decision of the referendum of the people of the UK will be honoured. If it is not honoured then what was the point of calling a referendum which would be “a once in a generation decision” and, more importantly, what then is the point of democracy?


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