Politi­cians need to lis­ten and learn

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Points Of View -

The out­come of the EU ref­er­en­dum has plunged the po­lit­i­cal world into tur­moil and inevitably led to much un­cer­tainty about the fu­ture of the coun­try. The Prime Min­is­ter has re­signed and Labour is in the grip of an in­creas­ingly ac­ri­mo­nious bout of in-fight­ing and looks likely to be search­ing for a new leader, too. Of course, pol­i­tics can be a no­to­ri­ously un­pre­dictable busi­ness but the cur­rent up­heaval is on a scale that is un­prece­dented. For our politi­cians, the over­rid­ing pri­or­ity now must be to en­sure the Brexit tran­si­tion is ne­go­ti­ated in a way that min­imises de­lay and does not cre­ate a long pe­riod of un­cer­tainty for busi­nesses and peo­ple con­cerned about their jobs, the cost of liv­ing and the abil­ity to travel. Dis­cus­sion about whether there should be a sec­ond ref­er­en­dum is not help­ful when it comes to ad­dress­ing these chal­lenges. Whing­ing about the out­come and de­mand­ing an­other poll is about as help­ful to the coun­try as lament­ing the per­for­mance of the Eng­land foot­ball team at the Euro­pean cham­pi­onships. The re­sult is what it is. Leave means leave and David Cameron is right when he says the vote is a clear in­struc­tion from the Bri­tish peo­ple. Of course, ex­tri­cat­ing the UK from the EU will not be easy. We are in a state of flux. But if our politi­cians have learned any­thing from the ref­er­en­dum it is that the peo­ple they rep­re­sent of­ten see them - rightly or wrongly - as de­tached from re­al­ity and part of an iso­lated West­min­ster elite. How our politi­cians re­spond to the ref­er­en­dum re­sult gives them an op­por­tu­nity to show they are lis­ten­ing and learn­ing.

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