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Lead, Follow, or Get Out of the Way! Brexit 2.0 is Eleven Days Away

by John Brian Shannon

I have a question:

Why did almost one-million people protest in London on Saturday?

Apparently, almost one-million people turned-up to protest Boris Johnson’s Brexit 2.0 deal which was scheduled to be passed later in the day in the UK House of Commons.

But because it’s unwise to anger one-million protesters milling about on London’s streets… the vote was postponed until Monday, October 20th. Smart thinking!

Can you imagine the security nightmare and the damage to shops, double-decker buses, personal vehicles, and (possibly) to life and limb had the vote gone ahead and be approved with one-million hostile protesters waiting just outside the House of Commons?

A million revellers could cause a lot of damage — and played across the world’s TV screens, the entire scene would’ve made the UK look like a country that hadn’t yet come of age and still didn’t understand how democracy works.

I noticed some UK news outlets were trying to play-down the number of protesters, with some saying “thousands” or “tens of thousands”. But why do that? We all know that 16-million people voted against leaving the EU in 2016, and it’s probably safe to assume that 1/16th of them are still unhappy about the outcome of the EU referendum.

That’s how democracy works: Sometimes you win. Sometimes you lose.

But the time to expend all your effort to get the result you want, kids, is in the run-up to a vote, not after the fact.

And let’s face it, in a country of 66-million people you could raise one-million protesters against Vegemite-on-toast if you were as well-financed as that particular Remainer cohort.

I can hear the shouts rising to a crescendo: “Taxi Drivers Against Vegemite!” and chants of, “Vegemite, OK!… Toast, OK!… But No Vegemite On Toast!… HEY! HEY!”

I have a message for yesterday’s anti-Brexit protestors:

Are you aware that on June 23, 2016 Britons voted to leave the EU (the 1st ‘People’s Vote’ on Brexit) and that British MP’s voted 498-114 to leave the EU on February 1, 2017, and that on June 8, 2018 Theresa May won a General Election a.k.a. the 2nd ‘People’s Vote’ (as a General Election is the purest form of a ‘People’s Vote’) an election in which all parties campaigned on a promise to deliver Brexit?

And, are you aware that the EU’s own Jean-Claude Juncker, the EC’s Donald Tusk, the EU’s Chief Brexit Negotiator Michel Barnier, and every single head of government in the EU27 have agreed that the new Brexit deal proposed by PM Boris Johnson (Brexit 2.0) is the best way forward for the EU27?

If you think you’re working for the European Union when you’re protesting against Brexit 2.0, you’re not. EU leaders have accepted this deal. And they wouldn’t have accepted it… if it didn’t work for their EU27.

If you think you’re working for the UK, you’re not. A majority of Britons still want Brexit to happen according to recent polls.

If you think you’re working for democracy, you’re not. How can you be working for democracy when you’re seeking to overturn the democratic choice of The People?

You need to stop and think; Why are you trying to overthrow something that a majority of Britons voted for, what the UK government itself proposed to the EU, and what the EU/EC accepted as the best way forward?

So, who or what are you working for?

My guess is that 1/3rd of you are professional (paid) protestors who travel all over Europe protesting anything that pays your travel expenses (How do I know that? Because I see the same faces protesting in Paris, Berlin, London, and Dublin, and not just on the topic of Brexit!) another 1/3rd of you are associated with a UK political party that once voted for Brexit but since it now looks like it might actually happen they don’t want any part of it, and the last 1/3rd of you are simply poor losers since the 2016 referendum.

To the first-third I say: Enjoy!
To the middle-third I say: Support democracy instead!
To the final-third I say: Grow Up!

By the way, I strongly support your right to peaceful democratic protest. That’s not the issue here. Brexiteers are trying to understand you!

If I’m wrong and it’s simply a generational thing, then, please consider this line of thought:

The older generations built the country you now live in.

They did it with blood (wars) sweat (labour) and tears (several recessions) and they did it (mostly) without cars, air conditioning, computers, the internet, TV’s, the Chunnel, scheduled airline service, or hundreds of other things that we all take for granted these days.

Since the signing of the Treaty of Maastricht when the UK illegally joined the EU in 1993 (according to the UK constitution it is illegal to hand any amount of UK sovereignty over to any foreign power) Britons weren’t given a vote on EU membership.

And the first time that they did get a vote on EU membership, they voted to leave — mind you, that opportunity took 23-years to arrive! Which is hardly democratic.

If you study demographics or are equipped to do a Google search, you can see yourself that approximately 500,000 Britons die every year (mostly from old age) so you can extrapolate for yourself how many older people have died since the UK joined the EU. (500,000 per year x 23 years = 11,500,000 UK deaths since joining the EU)

Therefore, eleven million Britons died waiting for the chance to vote on whether they wanted to join the EU, or not. But nobody asked.

Surely most of them would’ve voted against EU membership as it contravened the UK constitution, nor did they want to be ruled from a continent that caused two world wars, and later, the Cold War (a consequence of WWII) which was also costly for UK taxpayers in blood and treasure.

In fact, all they ever wanted to do was to recover from war, from postwar poverty, and rebuild their broken lives and broken country.

Everything you see in the UK was built by them. Every road you drive on, every bridge you drive over, every airport you fly out of to Spain or Malta for your annual holidaymaking, and every major building in the country. And so much more.

So, who are you, who’ve yet to accomplish anything like that, to try to take away from what’s left of them and their families, the opportunity to have a real vote for or against membership in a foreign political bloc?

And while I agree that it was a fine thing for the UK to join the EEC in 1973 (the EEC was a trading union, not a political union like the EU) it’s even better from a democratic perspective that Britons were able to vote on EEC membership within 3-years of joining.

Nothing wrong with trying it out for a couple of years so that Britons could see if it was a good or bad thing for them! In 1975, UK citizens voted enthusiastically to join the EEC and it did a world of good for both the UK and continental Europe.

In any event, Britons voted to leave the EU in 2016, the UK Parliament voted to leave the EU in 2017, and the UK held a General Election where all parties ran on a platform to deliver Brexit (and a pro-Brexit party did win on June 8, 2018) and EU and EC leaders have approved Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Brexit 2.0 deal, and now a relatively small number of British MP’s suddenly have ‘cold feet’ after campaigning for Brexit in 2016, 2017 and in 2018.

So, again, who are you… to try to overthrow the will of the UK people as expressed in 2016, the will of Parliament which voted for the European Union bill in 2017, the will of the present UK government which won an election in 2018 based on their promise to deliver Brexit, the will of the EU leaders and negotiators, and the will of the leaders of the EU27 countries?

Who are you? And why do you hate democracy?

Please tell us in the comments below — we’re genuinely interested to know.

As always, abusive comments won’t be published.

There Oughta Be a Law!

by John Brian Shannon

When a majority of Britons voted to leave the European Union on June 23, 2016, AND a majority of UK MP’s voted to leave the European Union on February 1, 2017 when they voted 498-114 to approve the European Union Bill allowing the UK to leave the EU, AND when a majority of Britons voted for political parties that supported Brexit in the June 8, 2017 General Election (that would be all UK political parties in that election) it follows that the UK Parliament is obligated to deliver Brexit for the British people.

It doesn’t mean that the UK government should allow themselves 10-years or more to deliver on the twice-expressed ‘Will of the People’. Because at the rate the UK Parliament is proceeding on Brexit that’s about how long it will take to get it done. If ever!

Which is why the UK needs a new law that requires Parliament to be responsive and legally accountable to voters, especially in cases where Britons have voted in a referendum, or where a major election promise has been made by the winning party. And that law should require Parliament to deliver within 2-years of the referendum date or General Election win, with severe legal penalties for non-compliance.

Failing to deliver Brexit within 2-years (we’re now at 3.5-years and counting!) has cost the UK economy approximately £69.5 billion so far due to the unceasing overpayments to the EU budget (the UK contributed £12.205 billion more to the EU budget than it got back in fiscal year 2019 alone) and additionally, the economic uncertainty costs caused by the overly-long House of Commons debates and overly-long UK government negotiating period with the EU during this Parliamentary session.

Perhaps being found in Contempt of Parliament with a fine of £10,000 per month, per MP, for each month beyond 2-years where the government hasn’t delivered within that 2-years what voters have ordered, might work to sharpen MP’s resolve.

Of course, there are MP’s working diligently to deliver on the 2016 referendum result who’ve been thwarted by their turncoat colleagues. Such diligent MP’s should obviously be rewarded — not punished.

However, the 2nd category of MP’s who were informed about the results of the June 2016 referendum, and who were members of a political party whose platform at the time included delivering Brexit, and whose party later voted to approve the European Union Bill to take the UK out of the EU, and whose party platform in the June 2017 General Election included a pro-Brexit policy and/or a pro-Brexit party manifesto, now seem to be trying to frustrate Brexit.

Which to my mind is almost a treasonable offence.

Unlike direct democracies like Switzerland, when Britons vote in a referendum it’s considered an advisory only for MP’s. I get that.

But shouldn’t UK MP’s be held accountable in any way whatsoever for their promises? Can they just promise any old thing without ever having to make good on their promises? Shouldn’t they be required to deliver the thing they’ve promised voters hundreds of times?

As an aside, it’s great fun to see certain MP’s who talked themselves and others into Brexit many months ago, now trying to talk themselves and others out of Brexit on the TV talkshow circuit… because they suddenly realize they might need to show some actual resolve and do some actual work to make Brexit happen.

Meanwhile, the average Briton does actual work for their pay every day.

If you bought a new car and you paid in full for the car, and the salesperson subsequently promised to deliver the car within a reasonable time… but then didn’t deliver the car; Would you seek legal redress or remedy from the salesperson/automotive dealership? Or would you just ‘let it go’?

How many of you would really ‘let it go’ and just move-on with your life?

Not many, I suspect.

Then why for the love of God would voters allow their MP’s to promise to deliver Brexit, and then ‘let it go’ with nary a comment, fine, nor Contempt of Parliament charge?

And the answer is; They won’t! ‘See you at the next election!’ say British voters.

It is unthinkable in a modern democracy that a Parliament would promise (hundreds of times) to honour the wishes of the people, and then after £69.5 billion has been squandered, that certain MP’s would then try to frustrate the government’s attempts to deliver on the promises made by UK Parliamentarians.

And to add insult to injury, that some MP’s would refuse to approve a General Election (the truest ‘People’s Vote’ of them all!) so that voters can decide for themselves which MP’s are true to the Will of The People.

I thought certain MP’s and their ‘rent-a-crowd’ followers wanted a ‘People’s Vote’!

It is quite without merit, it is dishonourable of individuals in the House of Commons, and it is a slap in the face of democracy that some MP’s who approved Brexit now won’t allow the government to deliver Brexit and also won’t allow the government to hold a General Election to determine the Will of The People on a pressing matter of national interest.

Parliament has Resumed Sitting… To What End?

For more chuntering-on about the Brexit they promised but won’t allow the government to deliver, for more banging-on about how the government isn’t doing its job but those same MP’s won’t allow an election to deliver on the ‘People’s Vote’ they’ve promoted in recent months?

Because, really, for £69.5 billion (and counting) Britons deserve better.

For shame, for shame, for shame, on this UK Parliament for not delivering on the Will of the People! And as for the so-called and overmuch ballyhooed ‘Will of Parliament’… it pales in importance when compared to the Will of the People!

Power to The People! And Parliament be Damned if it Won’t Do its Job!

Now We’re Getting Somewhere! Brexit is as Easy as Motions; A, B, or H

British MP’s will vote this week on an array of MP’s private member bills to help funnel Parliament toward some kind of Brexit harmony.

In the next few days British MP’s will be asked to vote on a number of motions to help the UK government gauge the level of support for each potential pathway forward and perhaps begin to align their policies with the winning motions.

The government isn’t obligated to act on winning or losing motions, but it does give them some indication as to where policy advisors and policymakers on the government side might concentrate their efforts.

The following three excerpts from a BBC website article published April 1, 2019 seem to make the best sense, which is why I’ve posted them for your convenience.

A link to the full BBC.com article from which these excerpts were taken can be found at the bottom of this page.

Motion A: Unilateral right of exit from backstop

Proposer: John Baron, Conservative

This proposal aims to commit the UK to leave the EU on 22 May with an amendment to Prime Minister Theresa May’s withdrawal agreement. That would allow the UK to exit the so-called Irish backstop whenever it wants, without the EU’s permission.

The backstop is an insurance policy designed to keep an open border between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic “under all circumstances”, if the UK and EU do not manage to agree a permanent trade relationship in time.

Many MPs fear that it could mean the UK is tied to EU rules for years, while the Democratic Unionist Party has voted against it because it would mean Northern Ireland was treated differently from the rest of the UK.

This is a new motion, which was not considered by MPs on 27 March. But the EU has said that the backstop is not up for renegotiation.

Motion B: No deal in the absence of a withdrawal agreement

Proposer: John Baron, Conservative

This motion asks MPs to support the UK leaving the EU without a deal on 12 April, if they have not agreed to support the prime minister’s withdrawal agreement by then.

If the UK did leave the EU with no deal, it would mean initially trading on World Trade Organisation (WTO) terms, which could mean tariffs on certain goods and extra checks on UK goods entering the EU.

On 27 March, a similar motion was backed by 160 MPs, but opposed by 400.

Motion H: EFTA and EEA

Proposer: George Eustice, Conservative

This motion proposes that the UK rejoins the European Free Trade Association as soon as possible, meaning the UK stays in the single market.

It also requires negotiations with the EU over “additional protocols” to resolve the issue of the Irish border and agri-food trade.

All excerpts courtesy of BBC.com Brexit: What are MPs voting on?
Published April 1, 2019.

Thumbnail image courtesy of: AP Photo/Matt Dunham

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