Mr. Boris Johnson, the current United Kingdom (UK) Prime Minister, suspended parliament on August 28, 2019, to force through the UK’s exit from the European Union (EU), almost certainly without any agreement on future relations.
Parliament will be closed at a time that is crucial for the future of the British union of countries, leaving members of parliament opposed to leaving the EU or wanting a second referendum with very little time to take action.
Mr. Johnson says that the 52%-for-and-48%-against result of the 2016 referendum in the UK (on whether or not to leave the EU) means that he has an irrevocable mandate to push through Britain’s exit from the European Union under any circumstances.
British ex-pats having been out of the country more than 15 years didn’t have the right to vote, so people like Dave had no say whatsoever. Why was that? Dave never heard any rationale justifying it, and didn’t think it was fair. Are British expatriates no longer full citizens? They remain subject to British law no matter where they go or how long they are overseas. So why shouldn’t they keep their rights as well?
The actual question asked in the referendum was simply, “Should the United Kingdom leave the European Union or remain a member of the European Union?”
It was a very general question, and didn’t ask whether people wanted to opt out of the EU under no matter what conditions, even if the consequences would be disastrous for the British economy and UK businesses. It would have been quite reasonable to hold a confirmatory referendum once the exit terms were clearer.
It was also claimed by Mr. Boris Johnson during the run-up to the referendum that Britain would not just ‘crash out’ and would negotiate an agreement that maintained a good relationship with our European neighbors. It is now looking like that promise is going to be broken.
So it would be justifiable to have a confirming referendum now that the situation is much clearer.
It’s very widely agreed that a ‘no-deal exit’ would be very bad: bad for the British economy, bad for the European Union, and bad for the international economic situation in general.
Yet Mr. Johnson claims it would be undemocratic to go back to the British public and ask them a second time if they really do want out, even if the cost of doing so is going to be enormous: widespread job losses as European and other international companies pull out of Britain and relocate to other countries; major shrinkage of the British economy; great likelihood of Scotland deciding finally to cut away and become independent; serious possibility of peace breaking down in Northern Ireland.
The British government has shown little consideration for the Scottish and Northern Irish points of view. Both Scotland and Northern Ireland voted majoritarily to remain in the EU. If the UK leaves the EU and referendums on independence are held in Scotland and Northern Ireland, both countries will probably choose independence, and will probably both rejoin the EU. Would the Welsh do the same?
Mr. Boris Johnson’s most notable achievement may well be to have brought about the break-up of the British Union, leaving England isolated and on its own – and quite deservedly. There won’t be any more ‘United Kingdom’ or ‘Great Britain’, it will be little England.
Did you ever see those two movies Children of Men and Doomsday? The future England may be very reminiscent of them (but the wall in Doomsday might maybe be built by the Scots to keep the English at bay).
Dave says these are very ominous days for Britain economically, socially and politically.
We can blame the politicians, but we should blame ourselves just as much, or even more: this is what you get for indifference to what the politicians are up to.
Freedom and democracy are not free. They have a cost: you have to survey, protect and maintain them continually, or they might well be stolen from under your nose.
Never trust ‘The Man’ – Mr. Boris Johnson and his government in this particular case.