Ooops, @DLidington, that's not what you told the House on 16 June 2015, during debate on the EU Referendum Bill. THREAD
You replied to Alex Salmond that the referendum was advisory, so nothing followed from it, and therefore a safeguard, such as Amendment 16 which he wanted, made no sense.
If you wanted the referendum to be mandatory, you had to legislate accordingly, with appropriate precautions like a supermajority; Don't you require a 2/3 majority for constitutional change in your own party? Your promise to enact the result changes nothing except your reputation
But whether mandatory or not, sane governments do not ask for an opinion on constitutional change, then enact it before they assess its implications & its very meaning. Nor do sane governments ask lay voters for an opinion without first giving them clear & detailed information.
Yet Britons were indoctrinated for decades in the press, such as the Mail & the Express, with naked lies about the EU. As a journalist, Boris Johnson had the chutzpah to admit he did it as *a bit of a jape* & for *a weird sense of power*. A poor basis for making a decision.
But you know full well the referendum was not intended as a proposal to leave the EU, but rather to cauterize a wound in the Tory party. No one thought Leave would win. I doubt Cameron thought he would get a majority in 2015, so the Lib Dems could once more to stop the referendum
Still, after the '52:48' Farage *unfinished business* result, you could have acted in UK's interests. Didn't an anonymous Tory let it slip? You were in a no-win situation: You could either destroy the country or destroy your party. I don't think he was joking.
You could have come to an arrangement with the EU - I recall an EU official saying they were expecting May to approach, but she didn't. On the major issue of EU immigration you could have admitted that a directive already exists which allows UK to limit it, but you chose not to.
This charade has to stop. You are denying the right of EU citizenship to many of us who treasure it, You are destroying our prosperity, our opportunites. You are not only weakening UK but the EU at the very time when the rise of populism & geopolitical issues threatens democracy.
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