So now that the Leave campaign has won the day, closer scrutiny is now taking place of the promises made that resulted in this extraordinary result. However, remarkably, the Vote Leave leaders are swiftly reneging on these key promises that formed the foundation of the entire campaign.
So what did, and what have, Brexit-ers voted for?
Within hours of the final result, Nigel Farage appeared on Good Morning Britain and was asked whether the ‘£350 million a week that we send to the EU’ will indeed be poured into the NHS.
Farage extraordinarily replied:
‘No, I cannot guarantee that and that was a mistake from the Leave campaign’
Immigration was the key buzzword in the election, the key issue that drove people in their millions to the ballot boxes, the main reason the majority of Leave voters voiced their anger at the EU.
Throughout the referendum, we heard:
‘Take back control of our borders’
‘Britain is full’
‘We are at breaking point’.
Astonishingly, within 24 hours of the result, the Leave campaign denied that Brexit would result in a reduction in immigration. Just have a listen to MEP Daniel Hannan on Newsnight:
The Leave campaign declared during the campaign that:
After we Vote Leave, there won’t be any sudden change that disrupts the economy. The day after the referendum, nothing changes legally. We will talk to our friends in Europe and discuss the best way to agree a new UK-EU relationship.
What happened was the exact opposite. The pound plummeted. The sterling dropped to a 30 year-low against the dollar ($1.5 to $1.36) and stocks were in freefall. Holidaymakers found that their trips would now be more expensive.
If that wasn’t enough, the hysteria of regaining ‘our sovereignty’ has suddenly vanished. Despite yesterday being on with Michael Gove and Boris Johnson declaring that there is no rush and that informal negotiations should take place with the EU.
So given that the Leave campaign have now admitted £350 million will not be spent on the NHS, Immigration levels will not fall, the economy is indeed disrupted, and there is no rush to ‘regain our sovereignty’, it does appear that the population have been rather hoodwinked…
And this is why serious questions are being asked as to the legitimacy of this referendum. Democracy may be the bastion of the free world. But with this host of incredible U-turns on promises that were without doubt the raison d’etre of the entire campaign, it may well be argued that accepting such a referendum runs counter to the principles of democracy. And the petition calling for a new referendum has surpassed the 3 million mark…