EUROPE: Result must be respected

It's puzzling that some people will not reconcile in their minds the fact that the British EU referendum result was to leave the EU.

Sunday, 17th July 2016, 6:00 am
Updated Thursday, 25th August 2016, 7:37 pm

A total of 17.4 million people voted to leave, a majority decision with one of the highest turnouts ever on a polling day.

People felt their vote counted, which many rarely feel through the UK’s normal political process.

It has even been said that the government should ‘overturn’ the result.

Well, the ‘MarchforEurope’, or ‘MarchforEU’ as it should have been called, would pale into insignificance with the numbers marching on Parliament if that happened.

It reminds me of the little boy who screams and screams until he gets that ice cream.

Let’s remember that the current government (and many others) is allowed to govern with only around 30 per cent of people voting it in.

So is it really justifiable that it should overturn the will of 17.4 million people voting in a democratic referendum?

I was brought up to think that the government/MPs were there to represent the people, their constituents, though I realise that is a naive, old-fashioned idea now, with the ‘top-down’ governments we encourage in this country.

So, how do we draw a line under all this?

Well, England lost to Iceland, Wales lost to Portugal and Murray beat Raonic, so maybe it should have been best out of three matches in each case?

Scotland voted to stay in the UK and also the UK voted to leave the EU.

Ahh, of course, maybe you just have as many referendums as it takes to get the ‘right’ result?

Hopefully our democracy in this country is more grown-up, respected and founded on more than this.

The trouble is that as long as there are those willing to brand the people who voted to leave the EU with contempt as bigots, racists, xenophobic, disruptive, anti-European, anti-Scotland, mad, elderly, prejudiced, poor, small-minded, liars, rabble-rousers, foes, executioners, etc, there will, of course, be no feeling of obligation by them to accept the referendum result, and many will remain anxious.

Or maybe leavers could just be honest democrats after all, who hope that once we leave the EU we could all work responsibly together, not in fear, but in strength and hope, with common sense, and build a better nation now and for future generations.

Wow, wouldn’t that be something positive to aim for.

Paul Lowdon

Whitley Bay