The Referendum result isn’t legally binding (Article re-edited)

Kevin Holloway Writes (Now here is the full version): I’m sure if you’re already bored with the referendum fallout you won’t want to read this, but if you’re not yet too bored please do. Like many other people I’m horrified by what’s just happened; it doesn’t make sense, even in terms of the reasons that many of those who voted out have given for doing so. I’ve been called a ‘bad-loser’ for complaining about where we’ve got to, but this isn’t a football match, or even a general election where we can have another go in five years. This is one of the most self-destructive things for this country I can imagine. And it stands to be permanent. So here’s some thoughts I’d like to offer anyone who’s wondering if there’s anything they can do:

The referendum result isn’t legally binding. The U.K. Parliament is sovereign. MPs could say, we can’t take this referendum result as a recommendation, it’s not ‘safe’ being only 52% to 48%. The right of the Tory party would explode of course, but it could happen. There are different possibilities that flow from that, here’s one for example: There will definitely be a new government in the near future, and an election is likely later this summer or autumn. The new government could choose not to apply immediately to leave the EU. It could stand for election on a version of staying in the EU, but if, and only if, certain things were renegotiated, for example, something on restricting the free movement of people. If that new government was successful in the negotiations, it could say ‘right we’ve got what you told us to get, we’re now staying in’. A lot of argument and anguish would follow, but there’s anguish right now and more to come I expect.
This isn’t just me, some MPs are already thinking like that. Here’s a statement of earlier today [Saturday] from David Lammy, MP for Tottenham: ‘Wake up. We do not have to do this. We can stop this madness and bring this nightmare to an end through a vote in parliament. Our sovereign parliament needs to now vote on whether we should exit the EU. The referendum was an advisory, non-binding referendum. The leave campaign’s platform has already unravelled and some people wish they hadn’t voted to leave. Parliament now needs to decide whether we should go forward with Brexit and there should be a vote in parliament next week. Let us not destroy our economy on the basis of lies and the hubris of Boris Johnson.’

If you’re at all inclined to think that what’s happened is crazy maybe consider taking some action. Lobby your MP – email, phone, contact personally (details will be on the net) – and speak to everyone.

Thanks for reading,   Kevin

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7 Responses to The Referendum result isn’t legally binding (Article re-edited)

  1. Barry Morrison says:

    And here’s me thinking we lived in a democracy

    • Ian Blakeley says:

      So did I Barry. No wonder the Remainers are upset, they don’t believe in it hence their support for Jean-Claude Juncker.

  2. Dr Allan Dodds says:

    Thanks for that Kevin. My understanding is that we have a representative democracy, not a plebiscite one, so that a referendum is only advisory. But more importantly, if it can be demonstrated that Farage, Johnson and Gove deliberately misled the electorate with untruths and false promises, then the referendum should be declared null and void simply on that basis. Democracy demands better than that the electorate be duped by snake oil salesmen with ambition.

    • Barry Morrison says:

      Ir’s all right saying that perhaps Farage, Gove and Johnson deliberately misled the electorate with untruths and false promises. What about the deliberate lies from Ted Heath, Harold Wilson..Tony Blair and Peter Hain?. And I reiterate, these lies have been permeating for 45 years..It’s nothing new.

  3. Joan Wade says:

    I do not think that the referendum vote can simply be ignored. This would be an affront to democracy. However, it is now clear that the people leading the Brexiteers are themselves having second thoughts. Boris Johnson has said this morning that there is no great rush to leave the EU. It has also emerged that lots of things promised by the Brexit camp such as savings on money, control of immigration numbers etc can not now be delivered upon. In addition, there is growing talk about the need for a General Election. A General Election would provide a fresh mandate perhaps taking us out of the current malaise.

  4. Ian Blakeley says:

    From The Guardian 23 June 2016 ………..”The wrangling reflects the fact that there is no binding legal process to force Cameron to invoke article 50. In theory, he could ignore the public and disregard a Brexit vote………………………………… In practice he has repeatedly promised that the result will stick – and there may be no going back on that line now.”

    I draw peoples attention to the last sentence.

    Cameron is a dead duck already having resigned in haste and not wisely.

  5. Jane Bowden says:

    If he’s gone though, his successor does not need to keep that promise.

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