There has been a lot of discussion about the nature of the wildly untrue statements and promises that were made during the referendum campaign. It genuinely scares me that Members of Parliament—honourable Members of Parliament—can sit here in an open forum and say, “Yeah, but people tell lies in general elections and council elections. It is just part of the system.” It should never be part of the system. It is appalling that a Member of this Parliament was found by a court of law to have told a blatant lie, but the law does not provide for that person to be forced to seek re-election through a by-election. There is something fundamentally wrong if the political system not only tacitly but now explicitly accepts that telling lies is an accepted part of the political process.
Although the Referendum is only a show of hands to indicate the feeling of the British public (at best that something is wrong with the state of British politics and the people it is meant to protect), and though the campaigning of the Leave party was based on blatant lies, false-promises and self-interest, it is still maintained that the Referendum is a binding result that the Brexit vote has been made. It hasn’t. Yet even Labour’s Barry Gardiner, despite raising some sensible points such as the close margin, the rights of Expats and Immigrants alike, the disenfranchising of youth and long-term expats etc, still had this to say to strengthen the lie that it has:
“However, we must be clear that the British people decided in the referendum that our relationship with the EU, and its balance of rights and responsibilities, was wrong and needed to be addressed.”
Barry Gardiner (Brent North) (Lab)
I keep getting this feeling we are being steam-rollered by our own government into accepting what was not a clear instruction from the British people as something that was…
“I conclude by saying that turnout was high, our instructions from the British people are clear and we are moving ahead… While respecting the views of the millions who signed the petition, we must also respect the millions more who voted on 23 June and the clear mandate that was given, not merely after a few weeks of campaigning but after a debate that exercised this House and our nation for decades… I must be clear on behalf of the Government that we will respect the outcome of the referendum, treat it as an instruction from the British people and carry out the mandate they have given us.”
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union (Mr Robin Walker)