Thursday 6 February 2020

'Seven non-Leave players who helped to make Brexit happen'

This is an interesting article about 'Seven non-Leave players who helped to make Brexit happen' by a PR man called James Frayne. First in his list of course is David Cameron and Mr Frayne says:
There was no public pressure for a referendum before it was called. Yes, UKIP won significant but small shares of the vote in many constituencies in 2010 and 2015 which cost the Conservatives seats. But anyone speaking to these UKIP voters even briefly understood they were primarily driven by concerns over immigration – not Europe. Often, immigration and EU membership weren’t even linked in their minds. By promising a referendum, Cameron launched UKIP to the masses and put Europe on to the agenda in a way it had never been. This was a terrible unforced error. Compounding it, he then messed up the “deal” with the EU at the start of the campaign – failing to sufficiently change the non-contributory aspect of the welfare state for non-British nationals. This meant that the end result was always likely to be at least tight.
I was not there, so I can not say to what degree voters were worried about European immigrants rather than the wider aspects of leaving the EU, but there is a great deal of truth in this. David Cameron was too clever by half and made a big mistake, from his point of view. He was too young to be Prime Minister but much better than the main alternative, David Davis, whose uselessness Brexit demonstrated.

I am not sure what to make of James Frayne, who makes one  or two prentice errors. He blames Jeremy Corbyn for voting for an election in November 2019, forgetting that the votes of the SNP were enough to pass the bill to hold an election. 

He thinks, had a second referendum been held, that Remain might have won. It might, but for a second referendum to have been held  Boris Johnson's Conservative government would first have had to lose office. Presumably that would have needed an election (even had a 'Government of National Unity' been formed, to avoid leaving the EU without a deal, an election would afterwards have been inevitable).

James Frayne is right that George Osborne's warning that the UK would be in recession immediately after a Leave vote destroyed the credibility of Remainers’ claims about the impact of leaving without a deal. It destroyed their credibility generally.
God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap (Galatians 6:7).

Somewhat oddly, Mr  Frayn thinks the Supreme Court ruling prorogation illegal made Leavers believe Boris really intended to leave the EU - and thus helped kill the Brexit Party. 

I'd like to think it is true. I loathe Lady Hale and all she embodies. That ruling was outrageously misdecided, by a court that saw itself resembling a continental supreme court, interpreting a written constitution. (Ramsay Macdonald and many other Prime Ministers prorogued Parliament for much longer without a word of protest from anyone).


  1. Dominic Johnson commented: Very good piece. Cameron held the referendum because 10% voting UKIP would have probably scuppered him. The EU's big mistake was not to throw him a credible bone.

  2. I have always liked David Davis and I normally agree with him - although it is true he is no orator (and that s a problem in politics). As for David Cameron - he did good in-spite-of his bad intentions. He wanted to keep us in the European Union - but his ill judged actions got us out.