Ref­er­en­dum ad­vi­sory and not de­ci­sive

Western Mail - - AGENDA -

WITH Theresa May in­sist­ing, ad nau­seam, how es­sen­tial it is to com­ply with re­sult of the June 2016 EU Ref­er­en­dum, it is worth con­sid­er­ing a few facts re­lat­ing to it.

Firstly, this was merely an ad­vi­sory/con­sul­ta­tive ref­er­en­dum so unconditional im­ple­men­ta­tion of its out­come would surely only be jus­ti­fied if the re­sult was un­ques­tion­ably de­ci­sive. With “Leave” win­ning by just 51.9% to 48.1%, this is far from be­ing the case.

Se­condly, the fact that the Leave cam­paign was suc­cess­fully con­victed for un­law­ful ex­pen­di­ture calls the va­lid­ity of the ref­er­en­dum re­sult into se­ri­ous ques­tion. More­over, their bat­tle bus ad­vert claim­ing Brexit would re­lease £350m a week for the NHS was not only men­da­cious non­sense but they would not, of course, have the power to dis­charge this ridicu­lous prom­ise.

An, ar­guably, quite de­ci­sive ef­fect on the ref­er­en­dum re­sult comes to light on ex­am­in­ing the cir­cu­la­tion of the Lon­don daily news­pa­pers. At the time (early 2016), the com­bined cir­cu­la­tion of the three most hys­ter­i­cal anti-EU “sep­a­ratist” news­pa­pers (the Sun, Daily Mail and Daily Ex­press) was 3.8m – al­most 1.5 mil­lion more than the to­tal cir­cu­la­tion of the other 7 daily news­pa­pers (and some of these were also anti-EU).

There is no doubt that these news­pa­pers had a huge and highly un­wel­come in­flu­ence on how their read­ers voted in the ref­er­en­dum, which meant that multi-mil­lion­aire me­dia moguls clearly had a mas­sive and – al­most cer­tainly – de­ci­sive in­flu­ence on the ref­er­en­dum re­sult.

This is, of course, the ma­jor de­fect of ref­er­enda and un­for­tu­nately, these moguls will ex­er­cise their in­flu­ence even more hys­ter­i­cally if there is a sec­ond EU ref­er­en­dum.

Gwyn Hop­kins Llan­gen­nech, Llanelli

> Llan­gra­nog Rock Pic­ture sent in by Dean Merry

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