March 30, 2023

The EU Referendum was a Beauty Contest

Leave means leave? Pretending that 52% knew what they were voting for is pretending that Brexiteers spelled out what they were proposing.

You will not find two Brexiteers with the same Brexit plan. In fact, you will not find one with a plan. They are still stuck in groundhogging a blurred Brexit vision. All you hear from them are trivial mottos:

  • Leave means leave (meaning: “Trust me. You don’t need more details. All will be good”).
  • Take back control (when a politician says this, are they admitting to premeditated abuse of power?)
  • Get on with it (with what exactly?)

There was presented a government vision at the Lancaster House that no one ever wanted to spell out.

Many Brexit visions are not longer than a newspaper article.

Then there was the Chequers vision. But not even as a vision, it could create consensus. Not even of a small majority.

No detailed Brexit plan was ever spelled out. Not today, not the last two years, and not before the EU Referendum. Remainers must have been deeply asleep not to see this. Europhobes had 10, 20 years to come up with something other than contempt, xenophobia and rule Britannia.

Because no detailed Brexit plan exists, there is no plan two Brexiteers could agree on, and there is no majority for a plan in the government, in the Tory party or in Westminster.

There just is no plan.

If there had been a plan, knowing the self-importance and pigheadedness of politicians, there quickly would have been two plans, three plans or more. And suddenly, you would have seen a debate about what the best future for the UK was.

But there was no debate.

There never was a debate. There never was a leave debate.

That is why there is no Brexit plan.

Europhobes will blame the EU for their own laziness and incompetence.

So what did people vote for when they voted Leave in the Referendum?

As there was no Brexit plan, voters could not vote for one.

Brexiteers purposefully delayed any debate until after the Referendum because if there were multiple Brexit plans spelled out favouring different interests, none of them would have found a majority.

Then there are voters who would teach the government a lesson, whatever the referendum question was. How many, who knows.

To no one’s surprise, leave means different things to different people.

Deriving a mandate to implement a non-existing Brexit plan from 52% leave votes is surreal.

When you ask a vague question with even vaguer underlying proposals, a referendum is a beauty contest.

Not more, not less.