What would leavers have done if we had lost?

The spectacle of the Remainers behaving like cry babies in the wake of the Referendum result on 23 June was pretty unedifying. One of my favourite memories from the night came at about 4am when Dimbleby at the BBC cut to the Remain HQ expecting their reporter there to introduce one or two senior Remainers to give their reactions to the unfolding events. Instead the place was empty as everyone had gone home rather than stay and face reality.

Once the disbelief had worn off, the Remainers moved on to blaming uneducated plebs for not understanding the issues, fighting like rats in a sack over who to blame and now seeking to overturn the will of the people by judicial means and in the House of Lords.

Now we see pretty much the same happening over in the USA. The same mix of Establishment figures, intolerant lefties and those living off government funds are reacting to the loss of a Clinton president much as our Remainers did here. Lots of abuse, insults and worse. The disbelief is still rife there, and there have been some very nasty calls for Trump to be assassinated and his wife to be raped.

In both cases the issues at stake were big, very big. So that has led some Remainers to point the finger and say that we Leavers would have behaved the same. Well, as Head of Campaigns at Better Off Out I sat in on some meetings where exactly this question was raised. What would we do if we lost?

Obviously I cannot speak for everyone, but the consensus seemed fairly clear to me. First, we would accept the result in that the people of Britain had voted to stay in the European Union. Second, most intended to take a break and see their families. Third nearly everyone was going to gird their loins and return to the fray.

There is bound to be a new EU Treaty in five or ten years’ time. Assuming that this would include drastic changes, we intended to argue that those changes needed to go to a referendum as it altered the relationship between the EU and UK approved by the people in 2016. Then we would campaign against those changes in the following referendum campaign (again assuming that they were serious enough).

What nobody ever even suggested at these meetings was that we should seek to go to law to overturn the referendum result. Nobody suggested that we should use Parliamentary procedure to slow down or halt the normal day to day business of the EU in the UK. Nor did anyone suggest a second referendum to ask the In-Out question again. Everyone was prepared to accept that we would have lost this battle, then prepare for the next.

It is against this background that we should view the behaviour of the Remainers. They are making little secret of the fact that they aim to overthrow the Referendum result. Using legal quibbles and delaying tactics in Parliament they hope to frustrate the will of the people. And these folk claim to stand for tolerance, inclusion and democracy?

The people have spoken. It is time to get on with it.

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Rupert Matthews

Rupert Matthews

Rupert Matthews is a freelance writer and historian. During the recent EU Referendum campaign he served as Campaign Manager for Better Off Out and spoke at meetings from Penzance to Aberdeen, Belfast to Dover. Rupert has written over 100 books on history, cryptozoology and related subjects. He has served as a councillor for 8 years and has stood for both the Westminster and European Parliaments. You can follow Rupert on Twitter at @HistoryRupert or on Facebook as rupert.matthews1.

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7 comments

  1. Jason BarkerReply

    I take the view that in this people’s referendum choice, sovereignty belonged to the people. Parliament or rather David Cameron overlooked the correct proceedure parliament needed to take to officially sanction the people’s wish. If this is correct, I wonder what would have happened had this only have come to light after next March!

    When we were given a EU referendum in 1975, did a parliamentary proceedure then have to ensue to make the outcome official!

  2. Phil JonesReply

    Exactly, Jason. Exactly. Parliament gave the people the right to decide the matter, and that involved abiding by the people’s decision. No further Parliamentary involvement is needed. All that is need is for the Executive Branch, i.e. Prime Minister, to give notice and start the separation process. Parliament would have a say on the terms of the separation BUT NOT on whether or not the separation notice is given. The recent court decision looked at a Parliamentary Act starting EU entry and concluded that only a Parliamentary Act could start an EU exit. But this was a wrong-headed approach. I’m sure that the Government lawyers argued it from the perspective of the people making a choice between two options in the Referendum Act and the Executive Branch simply executing its initiation, but the europhilic UK judiciary chose to overlook that fact. The other way of looking at the matter is that, assuming that only Parliament could initiate an exit from the EU based on Parliament initiating entry, Parliament initiated that exit as a choice of the people in the Referendum Act. No further legislation is needed to start the process, i.e. issue Article 50.

  3. MisterteaReply

    @Jason: there was no way the 23 June referendum could have been made legally binding without destroying the Parliamentary sovereignty we sought to save. What Cameron did wrong was to deceive the public into thinking that the result would, by itself, be any more than morally binding.

    To compare what has happened with the result in 1975 doesn’t work, because legally speaking the 1975 referendum saw a ‘no change’ result. We would certainly have seen controversy and expressions of regret if 1975 had gone the other way, and we ought not to be surprised with what we see happening now. Unlike Rupert, though, I don’t think there will be a serious attempt to block Brexit even if the Supreme Court rules against the May government.

  4. John Petley
    John PetleyReply

    Dave Barnby sent me the following comment:-

    What would leavers have done if we had lost? I was asked that very question in a pub where 6 Remainers were drinking and because I was wearing a VoteLeave badge began an argument with me.

    I said so long as it was a fair Referendum I would accept the result, but would go on fighting for my beliefs. I think most normal people who voted to stay in also accept the result.

    But it seems powerful vested interests and their outriders do not.

    I wonder whether those six drinkers who asked me that question (in a pub just outside Witney) accept the result themselves. Be interesting to know.

  5. Gordon WebsterReply

    My understanding of Constitutional Law, Pre Vote, is that a vote to remain would have legalised the surrender of British Sovereignty, since the People would have at last decided the matter. It was not made clear to the British people what the full ramifications of this vote were, and Lord Kilmuir’s Letter did not surface until well into the Campaign. Had the vote been Remain, I would have accepted the Will of The People, even though they may not have understood that a vote for remain would sanction our subservience to Brussels, until some Government realised “That No Government May Bind Its Successor,” and removed the European Acts.
    America, like Britain is under direct attack from Open Borders, funded by George Soros, with The Shadow Party, Demonstrators For Hire, and now the recently launched by The Clintons “Purple Revolution.” dedicated to bringing down Trump by any means. The Globalists will not give up without a dirty fight.

  6. Silvia ClarkReply

    Remainers are backed by strong selfish interests, Hughes companies, banks, even government posts , that’s why they fight so hard against it.
    Young people were brainwashed since they were in kindergarten making them believe that EU was part of their lives and they grew up loving EU. Government’s fault!!!
    We leavers only have ideals not interests, that’s the difference

  7. Pingback: What if we had lost? - Campaign for an Independent BritainCampaign for an Independent Britain

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