“Suddenly [Cameron] found himself trapped by his own manifesto promises — promises made to placate the Euroskeptics in his own party and see off the threat posed to his right flank by the virulently anti-European UK Independence Party.”
– David Cameron Was a Historic and Disastrous Failure
…except I’d argue it wasn’t “suddenly”.
Johnson and Gove carried with them a second feature of unscrupulous journalism: the contempt for practical questions. Never has a revolution in Britain’s position in the world been advocated with such carelessness. The Leave campaign has no plan.
– There are liars and then there’s Boris Johnson and Michael Gove by Nick Cohen
In all three of the second referendums, the Yes campaigners used two new strategies to tie the hands of No campaigners. After the initial rejection, the government sought reassurances from the EU on the controversial themes of the first campaign, effectively allowing them to ask the same question again. Having changed the context successfully, the Yes side could thereby frame the question differently.
– Asking the public twice: why do voters change their minds in second referendums on EU treaties? by Ece Özlem Atikcan
Seems like wishful thinking, to believe we will get a second referendum, but if we do the odds are more favourable.
The Brexiters could not have dreamed of more favourable circumstances in British and EU politics.
– WHY BRITAIN VOTED TO LEAVE (IF IT DOES…) by Charles Grant (published before the result)
Remain suffered from five disadvantages: the messengers, the message, migration, the media and the campaign machine – in short, the five Ms.
– HOW LEAVE OUTGUNNED REMAIN: THE BATTLE OF THE ‘FIVE MS’ by Charles Grant
“Do you know what I’d like to do with the £10 billion? I’d like that £10 billion to be spent helping the communities in Britain that [the] Government damaged so badly by opening up the doors to former communist countries. What people need is schools, hospitals, and GPs. That’s what they need.”
On Good Morning Britain on results day, Mr Farage however said: “No, I can’t [guarantee the money would go to the NHS]. I would never have made that claim.
– Video evidence emerges of Nigel Farage pledging EU millions for NHS weeks before Brexit vote, The Independent
If Boris Johnson looked downbeat yesterday, that is because he realises that he has lost.
Perhaps many Brexiters do not realise it yet, but they have actually lost, and it is all down to one man: David Cameron.
With one fell swoop yesterday at 9:15 am, Cameron effectively annulled the referendum result, and simultaneously destroyed the political careers of Boris Johnson, Michael Gove and leading Brexiters who cost him so much anguish, not to mention his premiership.
Throughout the campaign, Cameron had repeatedly said that a vote for leave would lead to triggering Article 50 straight away. Whether implicitly or explicitly, the image was clear: he would be giving that notice under Article 50 the morning after a vote to leave. Whether that was scaremongering or not is a bit moot now but, in the midst of the sentimental nautical references of his speech yesterday, he quietly abandoned that position and handed the responsibility over to his successor.
And as the day wore on, the enormity of that step started to sink in: the markets, Sterling, Scotland, the Irish border, the Gibraltar border, the frontier at Calais, the need to continue compliance with all EU regulations for a free market, re-issuing passports, Brits abroad, EU citizens in Britain, the mountain of legistlation to be torn up and rewritten … the list grew and grew.
The referendum result is not binding. It is advisory. Parliament is not bound to commit itself in that same direction.
The Conservative party election that Cameron triggered will now have one question looming over it: will you, if elected as party leader, trigger the notice under Article 50?
Who will want to have the responsibility of all those ramifications and consequences on his/her head and shoulders?
Boris Johnson knew this yesterday, when he emerged subdued from his home and was even more subdued at the press conference. He has been out-maneouvered and check-mated.
If he runs for leadership of the party, and then fails to follow through on triggering Article 50, then he is finished. If he does not run and effectively abandons the field, then he is finished. If he runs, wins and pulls the UK out of the EU, then it will all be over – Scotland will break away, there will be upheaval in Ireland, a recession … broken trade agreements. Then he is also finished. Boris Johnson knows all of this. When he acts like the dumb blond it is just that: an act.
The Brexit leaders now have a result that they cannot use. For them, leadership of the Tory party has become a poison chalice.
When Boris Johnson said there was no need to trigger Article 50 straight away, what he really meant to say was “never”. When Michael Gove went on and on about “informal negotiations” … why? why not the formal ones straight away? … he also meant not triggering the formal departure. They both know what a formal demarche would mean: an irreversible step that neither of them is prepared to take.
All that remains is for someone to have the guts to stand up and say that Brexit is unachievable in reality without an enormous amount of pain and destruction, that cannot be borne. And David Cameron has put the onus of making that statement on the heads of the people who led the Brexit campaign.
– Comment on Brexit: UK’s most senior EU official resigns after leave vote – as it happened by Teebs
The £350m per week that Vote Leave had said would be used to fund the NHS. “We never said that,” IDS replied.
“Yes you did. So even if there was £350m per week, which there isn’t, how are you going to fulfil all of your other spending promises?”
“We never made any commitments. We just made a series of promises that were possibilities.”
– IDS goes off-message on Brexit plan while Labour tears itself apart by John Crace
Finally, the setup of the referendum gave Leave cause to run riot. Unlike the Scottish independence referendum, there was no obligation for Leave to outline a plan or costings for a Brexit. Unlike commercial advertising, there’s no penalty for lying in political advertising. And unlike a Parliamentary election, there’s no way of booting the winner out if it turns out they have lied.
– Post-truth politics : how Leave hacked the political system and what it means for us by Chris Applegate