Late last year the European Court of Justice turned upside down claims by Tory ministers that it was too late to stop Brexit.
The Court’s judgement was that the UK can unilaterally revoke its Article 50 notice and remain in the EU on exactly the same membership terms as now.
The ruling means that the UK can do a U-turn on Brexit at any time until the expiry of the Article 50 notice period – now extended to 31 October.
Crucially, the court decided that:
“…given that a State cannot be forced to accede to the European Union against its will, neither can it be forced to withdraw from the European Union against its will.”
And here’s the thing: if the new Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, now takes us out of the EU, he will be FORCING Brexit on Britain AGAINST the will of the British people.
Over the past two years, almost 100 consecutive polls by the pollsters YouGov and BMG have been saying the same thing over and over again: millions more Britons want Britain to REMAIN in the EU than LEAVE.
Brexit can now be legitimately and democratically STOPPED, if that’s now what Britain wants, and if Parliament and the government listen to the new will of the people.
By all accounts, Britain today does NOT want Brexit.
But Parliamentarians, and Mr Johnson, are you listening?
Professor Adrian Low of Staffordshire University has painstakingly analysed all the polls since the referendum result. He told me today:
“There are no recent UK polls suggesting the UK wants to leave the EU. Quite the opposite.
“This is grim reading for Brexiters.”
“From a winning position of 52% at the referendum, Leave support amongst those who express a preference, has dropped to around 45%, whilst those who think it is wrong to leave the EU are now at 55%.”
Professor Low pointed out that the more polls that say the same thing, the more accurate they are.
Consecutive sequences of polls over an extended period of time that all have the same results speak volumes, he says.
“Take one ball from a bag, and if it’s red, that doesn’t tell you a lot about the bag of balls,” explained Professor Low.
“But if you take out 100 balls and they are all red, that tells you that the bag has definitely got more red balls than any other colour.”
“When different polls give different messages it is difficult to be sure. Not so when poll after poll – nearly 100 of them – since the 2017 general election all say that UK no longer wants Brexit.
“One poll, or maybe a handful, can be wrong, but not this time. There are too many of them saying the same thing.”
The professor concluded:
“The will of the people today is to remain in the EU.”
The reason the country no longer wants Brexit isn’t only because large numbers of Leave voters have changed their minds.
Another reason is that new voters now aged 18-21, who were too young to vote in the referendum, mostly want to remain in the EU.
And more than a million older voters – who mostly voted for Brexit – are now no longer on the electoral register.
There is also an anomaly in most of the polls that, if fixed, would see an even bigger swing for Remain.
Professor Low explained that pollsters rarely include Northern Ireland and Gibraltar in their polling, even though those two territories played a key role in the referendum and strongly voted for Remain.
But Professor Low has done the maths and shown that, if Northern Ireland and Gibraltar are properly re-weighted and added to the figures, the swing to Remain would now be in the region of 13%.
Commented Professor Low, “Labour or the Tories would love a swing like that in the polls.”
Solicitors Bindmans took the case to the European Court of Justice on behalf of a group of MPs, including the Labour MP, Chris Leslie, and the LibDem Brexit spokesman, Tom Brake.
Following the Court’s ruling, Bindmans commented:
“This judgment confirms that the UK’s sovereign Parliament – and no one else – controls the Brexit process and that it has the absolute right to revoke the Article 50 notice if it makes a democratic decision to do so.”
So, in summary, Britain can stop Brexit right now if that’s what Britain wants. And by all accounts, that IS what Britain wants.
As Professor Low says, one poll, or maybe a handful, could be wrong, but not over 90 consecutive polls, all saying the same thing.
Today, the ‘will of the people’ is to remain in the EU.
Time, though, is running out. The UK is scheduled to leave the EU automatically – deal or no deal – at 11pm on 31st October.
The only way to stop that is for Britain to revoke its Article 50 notice before that date.
Ask any Brexiter – especially the new Prime Minister, Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson – if they would still go ahead with Brexit if that’s NOT what Britain now wants.
If they say yes, then they are not being democratic.
If they say they still believe in the marginal win for Brexit of over three years ago, then they are living in the past.
In a true democracy, voters are allowed to change their minds, and it is a key function of democracy to give voters appropriate opportunities to do so.
Today, Britain has changed its mind. Britain doesn’t want Brexit.
Hard of hearing, Mr Johnson? Listen up. BRITAIN DOESN’T WANT BREXIT.
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