2020 Liberal Vision

From Iain Donaldson, a Manchester Liberal Democrat Learn more

Politics – After the EU Referendum

by Iain Donaldson on 29 June, 2016

The oldest parliamentary democracy in the world is facing constitutional crisis and political meltdown following the EU Referendum vote, and the only solution is an immediate general election, as most MP’s have no mandate to vote in favour of Brexit and most probably don’t even want to.

Most Tory candidates who became MP’s had made personal pledges to support the IN and therefore they have no mandate to vote for Britain to leave the EU.  By the same measure, none of the other parties except UKIP supported holding an EU referendum and therefore they have mandate to accept the result.

The simple truth is that we have a parliament that does not have the capacity to accept the result of the EU referendum and that means that we need a new parliament.  Whether we will get that new parliament is down to securing a 2/3rds majority of MP’s supporting a resolution to dissolve Parliament, and Turkeys do not vote for Christmas even when sitting on the Thanksgiving table.

There are also other reasons to call for a General Election.  The Conservative Party is governing this country, and was enabled to create this constitutional crisis, with just 37% of the popular vote.  This means that of those who voted 63% did not vote for the current Government, a government that is itself split on the issue of the EU referendum.  Furthermore the official opposition changed it’s leader almost immediately after the General Election meaning that the people have not elected the Labour MP’s under its current leadership.  Furthermore they have a leader who was if anything luke warm about remaining in the EU.

I do not agree with everything that Jeremy Corbyn stands for, but I could work with him.  He is a man who like me and my party opposed the illegal Iraq war in which hundreds of thousands were murdered on the back of a lie.  He like me opposed Labour’s Bedroom Tax, and its extension by the coalition.  He, like me and my party opposed the unnecessary continuation of Austerity politics following the recovery of our economy.  He is not tainted with the mess of the New Labour project.

The MP’s who are calling for his removal as leader of the Labour Party are betraying the wishes of the thousands of Labour members who voted for Mr Corbyn, but worse still they are doing so at a time when what this country needs from Labour is Leadership and not an internal rebellion by a self-serving elite that believes it knows better than hundreds of thousands of ordinary members what is in  their interests.  This is the reason I never joined Labour, and never could join Labour, it is that old clause for thing of ‘the means of production shall be controlled for the benefit of the workers’ rather than ‘by the workers’.

Then we need to consider the fact that Scotland, Northern Ireland, Gibraltar, The Scilly Isle and most of our big cities voted IN.  This creates a constitutional crisis for the UK as a whole and puts the Lib Dems in Scotland in a very different position to that which they were in pre Referendum.  I don’t know yet what my colleagues in Scotland will decide to do when it comes to a second referendum on Scottish Independence from the UK, but I have a very strong feeling that they might just now switch sides and support an independent Scotland that remains IN the EU.  If that switch happens it could just tip the balance in Scotland.

So with Scotland gone and there being no UK any longer, whither UKIP?  They simply will have to drop the UK bit of their name, and they will be independent, so therefore the only thing holding them together will be the word Party.  They have achieved what they set out to do, and no longer have any reason to continue to exist.

The Liberal Democrats are likely to be the only party fighting the next General Election on a platform of Remain.  Tim Farron has made this clear already, and has called for an immediate General Election (I had given my view stated here on this to him before he announced his decision).  The 48% who voted Remain will have a voice in the next General Election and I for one hope that they support that voice, but the choice is theirs.

Already we are seeing racist attacks in our country, as hatred spills our onto our streets and into our communities.  This must be stopped, and as Tim Farron has made clear,

Our fight for an open, optimistic, hopeful, diverse and tolerant Britain is needed now more than ever.

If you are one of the 48% and you want to fight to ensure that Britain can remain in the EU then now is the time to put aside your past political loyalties and to join the Liberal Democrats.

You can express your support by clicking here to go to Twibbon and adopting our #LibDemsRemain twibbon on your Twitter and Facebook accounts and you can join the 9000 who have already joined the Liberal Democrats since last Thursday online by clicking here!