Democ­racy weak­ened with­out a mean­ing­ful Brexit

Gloucestershire Echo - - NEWS -

✒ THE prin­ci­ple of “losers’ con­sent” is the lynch­pin of democ­racy: in other words, af­ter a demo­cratic vote, the los­ing side ac­cepts the re­sult, how­ever much it might moan.

The al­ter­na­tive, as we see in many so-called democ­ra­cies, is protests, vi­o­lence or vote-rig­ging, or the in­cum­bent stays on.

Too many Re­main­ers, par­tic­u­larly Re­mainer MPS, have never ac­cepted the re­sult of the Brexit ref­er­en­dum and have come up with ev­ery imag­in­able rea­son why they should not do so.

This goes to the very heart of our democ­racy, which is why feel­ings are run­ning so high.

What’s worse is that some of those most ac­tive in try­ing to thwart Brexit made ex­trav­a­gant prom­ises – for ex­am­ple, Hi­lary Benn: “You vote to leave. You are out.” Chukka Umunna: “We will leave if Leave wins by one vote.” Do­minic Grieve: “The de­ci­sion of the elec­torate in the ref­er­en­dum must be re­spected.”

RF Taylor’s claim (Let­ters, Septem­ber 19) that we can­not ne­go­ti­ate on trade un­til a with­drawal agree­ment has been signed doesn’t make sense.

The de­fault po­si­tion in both Ar­ti­cle 50 and the EU With­drawal Act is that we leave the EU two years af­ter Ar­ti­cle 50 has been trig­gered or any agreed ex­ten­sion has ex­pired.

Since the agree­ment is to take “ac­count of the frame­work for [the UK’S] fu­ture re­la­tion­ship with the Union”, it is far from clear that this can­not in­clude trade.

Mr Taylor says the UK was “on its up­pers” in 1973 and so it was.

How­ever, five years of be­ing in the EEC with a Labour gov­ern­ment in charge only made things worse. It was the elec­tion of Mrs Thatcher which re­stored this coun­try’s econ­omy and morale, not mem­ber­ship of the EEC.

I be­lieve our democ­racy is strong enough to sur­vive the cur­rent shenani­gans in Par­lia­ment, but it will be weak­ened if we do not leave the EU with a mean­ing­ful Brexit.

Mean­while, we have wasted seven months and got ab­so­lutely nowhere. Peter Eyres Chel­tenham

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