This week we are seeing a number of votes in the House of Commons related to House of Lords amendments to the EU Withdrawal Bill. This is an essential piece of legislation to provide a legal framework for a post-Brexit Britain but some Remainers have tried to hijack it in order to destroy Brexit.
What is remarkable is that these amendments, some of which are clearly designed to wreck the execution of Brexit and all of which collude with a foreign power, the EU, and thus undermine the government’s negotiating position, were put forward at all. Yes, the House of Lords do good technical work perfecting legislation and asking the elected Commons to look again at certain aspects, but in this case the unelected Lords have decided to directly undermine democracy in a way which was supposed to have disappeared at the beginning of the last century.
The whole process of Brexit has revealed in stark light so much of the shockingly unctuous way in which our country is governed and the naked vested interests at work. I say shockingly because these things were largely invisible prior to the referendum campaign.
The very first newspaper piece I wrote at the beginning of 2016, following my resignation from the British Chambers of Commerce to fight for Leave in the referendum campaign, was entitled “The Peasants’ Revolt”, based on the medieval uprising of the people against their overlords. The leader of the Revolt, a Yeoman called Wat Tyler, met a brutal end duped by what he thought was an honourable aristocracy, the establishment of its day. I warned at the end of the piece that Leavers should beware that the establishment are ruthless in pursuit of their vested interests.
We now see this in technicolour. Across the political spectrum, there are politicians who benefit from the EU or are merely pursuing their personal careers with disregard to principle or the national interest. In the case of peers, they sometimes even have undeclared EU pensions or benefit from special knowledge of Brussels in consultancy work. Similarly, many Civil Servants benefit from the career-enhancing knowledge of the technocratic “Eurocracy” through their experience of Brussels. Multinationals whose priority is executive bonuses and shareholder returns (in that order) and who benefit from segmenting protected markets to rip off consumers and maximise profit also love Euroland. The UK Treasury, in league with big business and rammed with stagiaires from the city is led by politicians placing themselves for their next job on the boards of corporations or international institutions dependent on EU endorsement.
In contrast, the British people voted in unprecedented numbers for Brexit.
Three quarters of parliamentary constituencies in England and Wales and two thirds of UK constituencies voted to leave the EU. Had the referendum been a general election, the “Leave Party” would have had a landslide victory.
To read John Longworth’s piece for BrexitCentral in full, click here.