Brexit: What David Cameron could have done

Jon Danzig |

On the day after the EU referendum, 24 June 2016, the then Prime Minister, David Cameron, stood outside 10 Downing Street.

He could have said:

“The people of the United Kingdom have all had their say.”

But he didn’t. He didn’t mention “United Kingdom” at all. What he actually said was:

“Over 33 million people, from England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, and Gibraltar have all had their say.”

And this is a key point. Of the five territories asked to take part in the referendum, three strongly voted AGAINST Brexit.

Despite this, Brexit went ahead.

Brexiters are quick to point out that the referendum was a UK-wide vote. But it surely should not have been.

When David Cameron said that England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, and Gibraltar all had their say, he didn’t mention that the say of Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Gibraltar was to remain in the European Union.

Their say was ignored.

When a vote is taken in the EU on whether to go ahead with a big change, the say of each country is equal, whatever their geographical size or the size of their population.

With three out of five territories in the referendum voting against Brexit; with only a wafer-thin difference between Leave and Remain; with only 37% of the electorate supporting Leave, was it right to storm ahead with Brexit?

My video rewrites history to show what David Cameron could have done the day after the referendum, instead of resigning and running away.

Brexiters often tell me that they haven’t got the Brexit they wanted. I ask them:

“When did you vote for the Brexit you wanted?”

Of course, they didn’t. The electorate was never given an opportunity to vote for a specific version of Brexit. In the referendum, it was Remain – which we’d had for 43 years – versus Leave, which was entirely vague and undefined.

But in the parallel universe presented in the video, voters would have been given a more realistic and democratic choice. We could have had a new referendum that properly pitched a defined Brexit with an already known Remain.

Watch and wonder.

To change the future, we must understand what’s gone wrong in the past.

  • Watch 2-minute video: Cameron’s parallel Brexit

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