Results of EU and independence referendums must be respected - Brian Monteith

If we are to achieve any sense of national unity, the results of referendums must be respected, writes Brian Monteith.

Brexit supporters hold placards outside the Houses of Parliament
Brexit supporters hold placards outside the Houses of Parliament

After a week in which the UK’s Supreme Court created law where none before existed, where it gave power to the Speakers of the Houses of Parliament, that overrode that previously in the gift of the head of state as advised by her Prime Minster and approved by the Privy Council – whatever will happen next?

Two small but important points.

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So long as we remain in the European Union the Supreme Court is not supreme, it is in fact the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg that is supreme over us. That its activist judges cannot be trusted to act impartially as a final court of appeal for our government seeking to deliver the peoples’ vote is just one of many democratic reasons why we must see Brexit through to the finish.

Lady Hale delivers the ruling that Prime Minister Boris Johnson's advice to the Queen to suspend Parliament for five weeks was unlawful.

It is one of the ironies of the UK’s descent into constitutional chaos – thanks to the resistance of the losers in the EU referendum and their unwillingness to respect the decision given to the British public – that those wishing to leave the EU so our Supreme Court can become truly supreme have been so badly let down by the very people they would empower.

Secondly, the agreement of the Privy Council to advise Her Majesty the Queen for a prorogation of Parliament only four days longer than the usual period demonstrates the idea it was all Boris Johnson’s doing is as absurd as it is untrue. What we are witnessing is the intentional demonisation of Boris Johnson to become a hate figure – the target for all fermenting odious bile that can be spewed from critics mouths – by politicians who claim to be amongst the most meek and placid amongst us.

When revoke and remain Parliamentarians were given the chance to gather again I asked myself, “what will they do with the time at their disposal?”

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In full: Scottish Court of Session rules Boris Johnson's suspension of parliamen...

MPs doth protest too much

We did not have long to wait, swinging as they did from packing the Commons’ chamber to raise the temperature of national division with their outrageous angry shouty speeches and suppression of the proper use of English language – to abandoning the same green chamber when it actually debated democratic principles. At that point I counted a mere 15 of 650 members present, convincing me many MPs doth protest too much to cover their insincerity.

What next then from this descent into ungovernability? Shall the opposition parties who want something different find common cause by passing a vote of no confidence in the Prime Minister? And if they do, what then? A Government of National Unity?

Where would be the unity in having a government that is against the will of the people? How can those that claim they wish to unite us do so by only representing the minority view – and including in its number only those who wish to overturn the referendum result?

Some are so devoutly extreme in their Europhilia they would revoke and reverse the referendum without so much as having a general election or referendum. Instead a sitting of this current Parliament – already the longest sitting since the Civil War – would in their eyes be enough to disenfranchise the votes of seventeen million and four hundred thousand people. Where would be the unity in having a government committed to ceding power to unelected and unaccountable commissioners of a foreign state when the British people had demanded all sovereign powers be repatriated so they could be administered by those they choose to elect? (And be in no doubt the European Union considers itself a foreign country with its own anthem, flag, consular service, defence force and other pomp and paraphernalia).


Where would be the unity in having a government that might only survive by including amongst its number – or relying upon the support of – those that wish to tear our country apart? How can a Government of National Unity have at its orgy of conception those that wish to destroy it?

Where would be the unity in having a government that in its conceiving agreed to a Scottish referendum that Scotland’s people do not want?

Where would be the unity in allowing the repetition of all the hatred, provocation and intimidation that marked out the last Scottish referendum as a stain on our democratic process?

Where would be the unity in having a government led by a prime minister who has claimed as his “friends” murderous terrorist groups and despotic theocratic or communist rulers who have nothing but bad intent towards our country or its people?

How can there be a government of national unity when those seeking to deliver such an impostor have, over the last three years, encouraged the debasement of the impartiality of the Speaker; have cheered on the breaking of parliamentary convention or it being turned on its head; have turned to the courts to reverse decisions taken by democratic votes; have conspired with our overseers whom we wish to break free from; have never thought twice about bringing into the political debate our sovereign who must remain above it all – and, when offered a general election that might settle the matter once and for all, have run off like the playground bullies they now resemble in every respect.

Results must be respected

MPs like John McDonnell that are threatening and intimidating when in groups – but cowards when asked to face the people one-by-one.

The belief that a government of national unity could be born out of the opposition MPs that inhabit the current parliament is a self-delusion propagated only by politicians who have no sense of just how angry the British public is becoming with their juvenile antics or the shame and ridicule they are bringing upon our country. By definition, even if all remain and leave MPs abandoned their party labels for just one election and fought opponents of their respective Brexit positions those that became the victors could still not form a Government of national unity – unless those that lost were to concede the democratic outcome, respect it and work to allow the victors to rule.

If we are to achieve any sense of unity the results of the independence referendum in Scotland and the EU referendum across the UK must both be respected by the losers. Only then – after a new general election – can future governments return to the issues of health, education, housing and justice and bring any semblance of harmony back to our land.

Brian Monteith MEP is Chief Whip of the Brexit Party in the European Parliament