Saturday, 16 March 2019
Brexit: no sauce for the gander
Nearly three years ago, in the EU referendum, 37% of those entitled to do so voted one way, 34% voted the other and 27% didn't bother to vote. Lots of the people most seriously affected by the outcome weren't allowed to vote, the campaign was fuelled by lies and false promises, there was some illegal activity, and possibly foreign interference.
A "meaningful vote" on the the deal to implement the result of the referendum was scheduled to take place in parliament last December, but it was postponed because the government felt that they wouldn't get the result they wanted.
It was this year, on the 15th January, just two months ago, that the government permitted the "meaningful vote" to take place. After extensive debate in which every possible angle was explored in conditions designed to ensure fairness and truthfulness, their deal was defeated by 432 votes to 202 (a majority of more than two to one - a far cry from 37% to 34%.)
However, battered but undaunted, the government subjected their deal to another "meaningful vote" last week, on the 12th March. After yet more extensive debate under controlled conditions the deal was defeated by 391 to242. The gap is narrowing!
So next week we are to have yet another "meaningful vote" designed to enable the government to get its way.
Strangely, the somewhat dubious result of the referendum result of three years ago is given the status of sacred writ which cannot be challenged, yet the government can have as many goes as it likes to test to destruction the overwhelming view of the Commons in order to get its way.
Logic has been thrown out of the window, along with so much else that has been the proud heritage of British democracy.