Remain MPs are bringing Parliament into conflict with the public

Published by FREE MARKET CONSERVATIVES on

BY JOHN REDWOOD

I did not expect so many MPs to devote a whole Parliament to trying to thwart the referendum result. They are infuriating Leave voters, letting down the many voters that voted Conservative or Labour on the understanding those parties were pledged to get us out on time, and bringing Parliament into conflict with the public.
 
Why do they do this? Few of them ever dared make a positive case for our membership of the EU all the time we were in it. During the referendum the Remain campaign was almost entirely negative, concentrating on what they thought would go wrong if we left. When challenged about the EU they often accepted Eurosceptic criticisms of it, and said they wanted to reform it, and it was not perfect. When we asked why they had not been able to reform it over the last 40 years there was often a painful silence.
 
There are several possible explanations of what has made them behave as they do. Some clearly had a hidden passion for the EU and like its drive to political, economic and monetary union. They had worked out the UK voters were never going to vote for that, so settled for getting there by stealth, more slowly than the committed pro EU and pro Euro countries on the continent. Some clearly believed the silly false forecasts of Project Fear, and decided to stay in an imperfect institution, seeking to limit its power over us and taking advantage of what they saw as a good set of trade arrangements. Ironically this latter group held a particularly pessimistic view of the EU, claiming it would make the UK pay for daring to leave and inventing all sorts of ways the EU might try to damage our trade with them, at a larger cost in damage to their trade with us. They ignored the fact that we successfully trade with the rest of the world mainly on WTO terms and could do the same for the EU if we have to when we leave. Some claimed to believe the current EU is just the common market we were told we were joining in the 1970s, choosing to forget all the subsequent treaties, directives and court judgements that have so expanded EU power over us.
 
The main advocates of Remain in the Commons now wish to distort our constitution and use any means they can find to stop us leaving. Most of them claim to want delay rather than cancellation of Brexit, but fail to tell us how we could get a better deal through delay. We have after all had two delays so far, with an EU still saying it will not use a delay to renegotiate. The Prime Minister is trying to get them to see if they do not offer a better deal we will just leave. The Remain forces undermine him at every turn, helping prevent a better offer coming from the EU. The hard core now admit they just want to revoke our Article 50 letter of resignation from the EU. The Lib Dems say they could live with a second referendum but would want to ignore it if it reaffirmed the first!
 
The Remain MPs now unite to stop voters having their say in a General Election, presumably out of fear that voters would give the majority to parties that do want to implement the referendum. Worse still they want to drag the courts into Parliament’s proceedings. They cannot be serious to suggest that the UK’s exit or delay to exit from the EU could fall to be decided by a few Judges. After the referendum, after a General election which swept the board for parties advocating Brexit, how could they think the right answer is to lean on judges to get them to deny voters our wishes and to undermine our decision.

John Redwood is the Conservative MP for Wokingham and Visiting Professor at Middlesex University Business School. Follow him on twitter: @johnredwood