The Prime Minister Theresa May quietly supported the Remain cause during the 2016 Referendum campaign. Might she then yield to the constant pressure from die-hard Remainers to begin to compromise the Brexit vote ?
During Questions to the Prime Minister this week, she was asked a pertinent question by a Conservative MP – and such questions are often orchestrated to allow the PM of the day to make a point.
Hansard records the following question from Owen Patterson:
The House of Commons Library confirms that an estimated 63% of Members of this House represent constituencies that voted leave. Does the Prime Minister agree that should those Members not support her by voting for her programme of taking back control by leaving the single market, the customs union—any customs union—and the remit of the European Court of Justice, they will be denying the democratic vote of their constituents and doing lasting damage to our democracy ?
Her reply is recorded by Hansard as follows:
My right hon. Friend is absolutely right that this Government are delivering on the vote of the British people, which was to leave the European Union. As we do that, we will ensure that we get the best Brexit deal for the United Kingdom. I consider it to be a matter of politicians’ integrity that having given the choice to the British people we should then deliver for them on that choice.
With increased and persistent Remain campaigning to scupper Brexit, the underlying issues in our politics, and indeed in our constitution are being thrown into sharp relief.
That the integrity of politicians is now on the line as never before is clear to all. They cannot say the people should decide and then overturn the Referendum verdict.
They cannot plead ‘parliamentary sovereignty’ to alter Brexit when Parliament gave the decision to the people via a Referendum Act.
Everyone understood at the time that this was to be a decisive vote: Either in the European Union for good or Get OUT completely.
David Cameron as Prime Minister made the position crystal clear and so did Philip Hammond the Foreign Secretary in submitting the Referendum Bill.
Nor can they make their spurious appeal to the fact that our constitution is one of ‘Parliamentary Sovereignty’.
Either to remain in the EU or to subject Britain to effective membership while lacking any elected representation, is to subject our parliament and our people to a greater, foreign sovereignty.
This they know, as does the Prime Minister.
Recent amendments in the House of Lords merely expose that chamber for what it is: unelected, politically appointed dependents who are politically partisan on matters which they have no business to be politically partisan about. It is a revising chamber whose role is secondary – not Primary – in the parliamentary process.
It has no business either politically or constitutionally to pass amendments which they themselves know will effectively reverse the decision voted in June 2016.
The Remain camp can dress up their betrayal of this country’s democracy in various spurious ways, but no-one can eclipse the underlying truth nor that the most fundamental issues are in play, namely
British sovereignty and British democracy.
This writer would not be surprised to see a General Election this year, 2018.
Mrs May has less and less room for manoeuvre. The ultimate logic of the reference to 63% of constituencies voting Leave is to call a General Election on that issue, especially if the Commons endorses the recent Lord’s amendments.
But 80% of all MPs must agree.
And if Remainers get their way with the existing Commons, why vote for a dissolution ?