Today is the third anniversary of the EU Referendum. Like all Brexiteers, I can remember exactly where I was when I heard the result. And more importantly, I remember exactly how it felt.
It felt as people must have done on VE Day. (Quite appropriate, really, given what the E in VE Day stands for…)
It felt how that preeminent knight of the Crusades Reynald de Chatillon must have felt on his release after years in the lightless, airless, foetid dungeons of Aleppo.
It felt like that time I chatted up a Norwegian barmaid well above my pay grade and instead of being turned down I got lucky.
It felt like lots of other things too, all of them good, and I expect it was just the same for you. Brexit Day — Independence Day, as we told ourselves we would soon come to call it — was perhaps the greatest political event of our lives because it was so momentous and so unexpected.
Momentous because — unlike general elections for parties so samey there was little to choose between them anyway — the result really would make a genuine difference.
Unexpected because — as we’d seen in the fractious, ugly campaign leading up to it — the Remainer Establishment had done everything it conceivably could have done, both by fair means and foul, to try to ensure that the people of Britain did not vote the way all their instincts urged them to vote.
The outcome, despite the Remainer Establishment’s best efforts, was:
17,410,742 for Leave
16,141,241 for Remain
Ever since, Remoaners have tried to persuade us that this 52 per cent margin was so tiny that frankly we should either ignore the result or run the Referendum over and over again until the right decision is reached.
But I suspect that that margin would have been considerably larger if the Establishment had not put so much money and muscle into trying to thwart the popular will by frightening people with Project Fear. The Bank of England, the International Monetary Fund, the Civil Service, the BBC, the universities, the City of London, the Confederation of British Industry, the President of the USA, etc — the Remain Establishment threw everything it possibly could into its battle against democracy. And still it lost. read more