LOSING A VOTE DOESN’T MEAN HAVING TO GIVE UP
This time last year, Nigel Farage and his new Brexit party wanted Britain to leave the EU without any deal, and without the British public having any further say.
But that’s not what Mr Farage said just one month before the EU referendum of 2016.
On 16 May 2016, the then UKIP leader told the Daily Mirror that if Remain scraped through with a narrow win, he’d want another referendum.
In those circumstances, Mr Farage predicted, there would be growing pressure to re-run the vote.
Just 38 days before the referendum, Mr Farage told the Mirror’s associate editor, Kevin Maguire:
“In a 52%-48% referendum this would be unfinished business by a long way.”
On the other hand, if Remain won with a decisive victory, such as happened in the first referendum in 1975, the game would be over.
Said Mr Farage, “If the Remain campaign win two-thirds to one-third, then that ends it.”
BBC News also reported at the time, ‘There could be unstoppable demand for a re-run of the EU referendum if Remain wins by a narrow margin on 23 June, UKIP leader Nigel Farage has said.’
It was obvious that before the referendum, Mr Farage thought that Remain would win by a narrow margin.
Just before polls closed on 23 June 2016, Nigel Farage said, “It looks like Remain will edge it.”
After the polls closed, he told a party of Leave.eu supporters that Remain had probably won. He added, “I hope I’m wrong.”
But even in the face of defeat, Mr Farage assured his supporters that the Brexit campaign would continue.
“Win or lose this battle, we will win this war,” said Mr Farage.
It’s clear that if Remain had won the referendum, Mr Farage and other Brexiters would not have given up. They would have carried on campaigning and called for another referendum.
Just as Eurosceptics did after they lost the first referendum in 1975 – by a landslide.
There is no shame in Remainers now continuing to argue the case for Britain to re-join the EU.
Just as there would have been no shame in Brexiters continuing their campaign for Britain to leave the EU if they had lost the referendum.
Democracy is a continuous process, in which no vote is ever permanent, and any vote can be changed by a new vote in the future.
Whatever side you are on, Remain or Leave, Labour or Tory, one thing is clear: losing a vote does not mean you have to give up what you believe in.
Isn’t that a message we can all agree with?
▪ Commentary and graphic by Jon Danzig
▪ Please re-Tweet: twitter.com/Jon_Danzig/status/1265958988132294656
▪ Link to Daily Mirror story of May 2016: mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/nigel-farage-wants-second-referendum-7985017