At 22:00 Thursday things were not looking good as polls suggested the Remain camp had won the referendum.
However, as the first results came through there was an indication, once again, the opinion polls had got it wrong and as the results kept coming through until 04:40 it became clear Leave was going to win.
We still had to wait until 07:21 for official confirmation when the official result was announced, to Remain 16,141,241 and to Leave 17,410,742 a majority of 1,269,501
Then the day that has been giving kept giving as an hour later Prime Minister David Cameron announced he was stepping down.
As a lifelong Conservative, one time activist, it seems odd I should delight at a Conservative Prime Minister falling on his sword. However I have never been a fan of him. He is too smug and is more interested in his own self interests.
He, like Tony Bliar, is more interested in creating short sound bites rather than have any substantive policies or principles. Cameron is as much a Conservative as Blair was a socialist.
Let’s face it Cameron is a Euro sceptic at heart.
Being charitable it could be said he, for the first time in his political career, did the honourable thing by standing down. Being cynical it could be said he jumped before he was pushed.
There are also calls for Jeremy Corbyn to resign because, he too, supported remain and it’s generally accepted led a poor Labour campaign. I have a different view on that one – if Corbyn is replaced there is a real danger he may be replaced by someone electable and I wouldn’t like to take that risk.
I was never in favour of joining the EU or, as it was then, the Common Market.
I always held General De Gaulle in deep respect because he continually vetoed the United Kingdom joining. Unfortunately, Head Teeth sold the country down the river taking the country into the Common Market in 1972.
Harold Wilson, in the only good thing he ever did as PM, did offer the country a referendum in 1975 but unfortunately the country were conned. Was it explained in 1975 how the Common Market would morph into the monster it has become. Some of us predicted what would happen but were dismissed as scaremongers.
At the time I had fears of unfettered expansion and loss of control and governance. Never in my worse nightmare did I realise just how bad it would be.
The United Kingdom is overrun with facile European Regulations. Yes some are beneficial but who’s to say they would not have been implemented in the UK anyway.
Despite a disastrous dabbling with the ERM the UK, at least, avoided joining the Euro – imagine how much more difficult exiting would have been had we joined.
Joining the Euro would have totally taken away any fiscal control in the United Kingdom. Look at how the Greeks have been emasculated and are now the poodles of Germany.
The referendum campaign has been a complete embarrassment with neither side emerging with any particular credit. Both sides peddling lies and smears. The worse of the leave ones being that money would be diverted to the NHS – firstly only the Government of the time can make such a promise and secondly the money would make no difference in an organisation that has been teetering on the brink of bankruptcy since it’s inception.
On the remain side there was the issue of Turkey – Remain said the UK would use its veto to block Turkey joining. Bearing in mind this is unlikely to be an issue until the early 2020’s and a different Government will be in power how could such a promise be made at this juncture? Just because the UK has a veto does not mean it will be used.
What really angered me is, in some quarters, those campaigning to leave were branded xenophobes and racists because of their concerns about immigration.
I have two observations on that one.
Yes immigration was an influence for me but only a significantly minor one. I have no problem at all with immigration, indeed going back a couple of generations I can include South African, French and Russian in my pedigree.
Immigration has made the United Kingdom the diverse country it is and the country is all the better for it – throughout its history, refugees, migrants and immigrants have been made welcome and have integrated into British society. Without immigrants the NHS would have folded years ago and I’ll wager even the most fervent racist will still enjoy a curry or Chinese takeaway.
My problem with immigration and the EU is the EU allows unfettered, uncontrolled movement within the EU.
Yes, it works both ways but with the higher standards of living in the UK migrants were attracted to the UK because even our minimum wage is considered high pay when compared with wages in their native lands.
Yes, they do pay UK tax but billions of pounds a year went from the UK to Eastern Europe – money which could be spent benefitting the UK economy, not to mention tradesmen from Eastern Europe undercutting their British counterparts and putting them out of business.
By saying that I’m branded a racist xenophobe.
Secondly, as alluded to earlier, immigration is only a gnat bite compared with the wider issues of the EU.
The Common Agricultural Policy which diverts billions of Euros to subsidise uneconomic farming methods and the creation of food mountains.
A fisheries policy which has all but destroyed the British fishing industry.
A common currency has been introduced with strict rules for joining, which were never enforced -hence Greece going down the pan and Italy, Spain, Portugal and Ireland teetering on the brink of going Greek.
Corruption and profligate spending of EU funds, £100bn of spending by Brussels which the auditors refused to sign off. Moving the European Parliament between Brussels and Strasbourg once a month at £130m a time – just for four days a month.
EU money going to
Italy ending up in the hands of the M afia.
…… and I could go on and on and on – but you get my drift.
Those behind project fear say the UK cannot survive outside the EU – poppycock!!
It’s almost 1,000 years since the Norman conquest and the island has survived pretty well in that time and out of those near 1,000 years the UK has only been in the Common Market / EU for 44 of them.
Indeed it’s more a case of the EU needing the UK rather than the other way round.
The world will not end – football fans can still watch the home nations in the Euros (assuming they qualify), we can still get humiliated in Eurovision every year – neither has anything to do with the EU.
Those concerned about their human rights need not fear as the ECHR has nothing to do with the EU.
The UK will still be members of NATO but the EU members will be bricking is as only the UK and France have any half decent armed services.
The UK will be able to trade with whoever we want around the world – the EU is just 28 out of 196 countries.
The UK can negotiate our own trade deals with the emerging economic powerhouses of China and India.
Yes, the markets and sterling dropped this morning but only because traders assumed there would be a yes vote – stock markets and currency exchanges are always volatile.
Anyway with the massive drop in share prices this morning there wasn’t a better time to buy shares at rock bottom prices.
Unsurprisingly the obnoxious Nicola Sturgeon is already bleating on about another Scottish Independence referendum – to be honest if it means I no longer have to listen to the verbal diarrhoea she spouts in her whining voice and no longer have to put up with SNP politicians at Westminster interfering in English and Welsh legislation then I would happily say good riddance to them and give them independence tomorrow.
Of course if Scotland goes it alone they will flounder and they will have less independence than they do now. They are a small economy and if they wanted to join the EU as an independent state they will be bound by current rules, including adoption of the Euro, plus it will take about ten years to join.
Of course in her fantasy world she thinks she will just be able to walk into the EU under the same terms the UK had – which typifies the naivety of those seeking independence.
Whilst we’re at it, can we get rid of Northern Ireland as well, it makes no sense having a divided island of Ireland.
“…. the past 2,000 years of European history had been dominated by doomed attempts to unify the continent under a single government to recreate the “golden age” of the Romans.
“Napoleon, Hitler, various people tried this out, and it ends tragically. The EU is an attempt to do this by different methods,” he said.
It was the Emperor’s new clothes moment when he revealed what the EU is all about.
Yesterday, for the third time in a century, the British people put an end to German plans to control Europe.
That’s why I’m so happy today.