Remain is winning the battles but still losing the Brexit war

Lady Hale delivering the Supreme Court verdict

Ifan Morgan Jones

So the Supreme Court has decided that suspension of Parliament was unlawful, which the BBC are describing as a “huge blow” to Boris Johnson.

It is certainly a welcome decision in that it limits executive power in the UK and stops the drift towards an authoritarian state where representative democracy is sidelined.

But I’m not so sure it’s that big a blow to Boris – and even if Boris Johnson does resign out of political embarrassment (unlikely), does this really do anything to stop Brexit?

This shock decision is another morale-boosting win for those campaigning to Remain in the EU, but while they have won numerous battles of late it doesn’t seem to make much difference to the war.

The political reality is that despite all the dire warnings – some by the UK Government itself – about the reality of Brexit public opinion hasn’t shifted.

I always ask myself the question when Remain celebrates victories in frustrating Brexit: ‘Does this change the mind of anyone who voted for Brexit?’

In the case of the Supreme Court decision, probably not.

And since Brexit was as much a kick against the UK’s political institutions as it was against the EU, it may even harden people’s resolve to see it through.

The sad reality is that by using every parliamentary and legal tactical manoeuvre In attempt to frustrate Brexit, Remain have just deepened the perception that the UK is run by an out of touch elite that don’t want to listen to ‘the people’.

That perception is erroneous – half ‘the people’ voted to remain in the EU. But it is a narrative Brexit has successfully pushed and will continue to push.

Tomorrow, this Supreme Court ruling will be held up by the tabloids as just another example of this dynamic at work.

Ultimately, we’re likely to have an election soon, either next month or in November. Boris Johnson’s fate will be decided by the voters, not the courts.

And with Labour fighting at their conference like rats in a sack, and unable to come up with a clear position on Brexit, the Remain vote will be divided between them and the Lib Dems.

In a First Past the Post election, and with Boris Johnson credibly promising a swift Brexit if he wins decisively, he may well win a clear majority in Parliament.

By the time the clocks go forward that late September victory at the Supreme Court may seem very hollow indeed.

Ultimately, the only way to stop Brexit is to find a way to change the minds of those who voted for it. The Remain campaign have tried everything else, but haven’t cracked that one.

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Martin Weale
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Martin Weale

Nothing the EU has done has changed the minds of leave voters. Indeed, various EU officials seem hell-bent on confirming their worst fears.

Sibrydionmawr
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Sibrydionmawr

I don’t see how. Leave supporters placed their votes based on some misleading words on the side of a bus and because they stupidly believed that the EU laws were preventing the UK from exercising sovereignty when in reality all their issues were actually about English laws. All the various EU officials have pointed out is what their ‘red lines’ are and that they won’t budge, and there isn’t any other deal on offer. All along the EU has been a perfect example of fairness and plain dealing, which contrasts with the way that the British government has behaved since… Read more »

Theresa Green
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Theresa Green

It suits you to say half “the people” for your own purposes when in fact the accurate statement is half “the people who voted”.
You state that public opinion hasn’t shifted. Is that your opinion? Have you asked them?
It’s you that should listed to what is being said instead of twisting the interpretation of political issues to suit your narrow viewpoint.

Sibrydionmawr
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Sibrydionmawr

I’m not sure what point you’re making there. Of course, what you say is strictly true, but the same can be said about the Leave vote, that only just over half of those who voted, voted for that option. Those that didn’t vote obviously didn’t express a preference, and under our system of democracy are irrelevant anyway as they chose to absent themselves from the process, and so, quite literally, don’t have a voice. I also think that what IMJ has written above pretty much captures the true situation, as it does seem that Remain is winning battles, but not… Read more »

jr humphrys
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jr humphrys

Things will be difficult, even here in Scandia, as that’s how entwined things have become, with specialised pharmaceuticals and such produced in various countries. So, it’ll be a while before Europe gets back on the same even keel that existed before the English came, waving their handbags about. As well as threatening a mess, Brexit has provided some entertainment, with Bercow becoming a “star”. If he writes a book, it’s guaranteed to be a best seller. But once the fuss is over, Europe will get its head down and grind on. I cannot see the possibility of any “UK” gov.… Read more »

Rob Bruce
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Rob Bruce

“then we can disenfranchise the White Flighters who caused the Welsh majority for Brexit so that we don’t have to endure the pernicious effects of their racism and xenophobia”
WTF? How are you going to do that?

Richard Carr
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Richard Carr

So Sibrydionmawr, are you suggesting that people who now live in Wales but who are English by birth, shouldn’t have the vote in an independent Wales?

Rhosddu
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Rhosddu

I don’t think the EU would be very happy if an independent Wales disenfranchised the settlers. It wouldn’t be right, anyway, and it wouldn’t be necessary. Some may choose to leave after independence (as happened in the Soviet colonies after the fall of the USSR), but, mark this, the children of those who stay will be brought up as Welsh, and the bigots will eventually die off. There’ll be no Unionist Fifth Column after a generation.

Richard Carr
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Richard Carr

Rhosddu, many children of English born parents in Wales grow up to think of themselves as Welsh even now.

Rhosddu
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Rhosddu

Yes, exactly.

Steve Duggan
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Steve Duggan

I have sympathy with your opinion, part of me believes Brexit will actually aid Wales’ road to independence. The othe part of me though does not want to see a single Welsh job lost or a single penny put on the cost of living in Wales – Brexit will definetely see that happen no matter what the zealots say. That said, perhaps it’s what the country (UK) needs to finally slap itself out of the delusions of past granduer and into the reality of our position in the 21st century. It may also shake up our political system fundamentally so… Read more »

Wexit
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Wexit

A pyrrhic victory for Remainers as this article suggests. I can’t help feeling that seeing more grandstanding by the likes of Bercow, Grieves, Sourbry et al on our television screens over the next few weeks will only serve to galvanise the Leave narrative and ramp up anti-parliamentary sentiments yet further. In fact, it’s not inconceivable that this decision by the Supreme Court might well have been purposefully engineered by Dominic Cummings, Johnson’s puppet-master. His terse line to journos the other day:’ you need to get out of London to talk to real people, not rich remainers’ was a clear indication… Read more »

Alfyn
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Alfyn

I’m afraid that what you say could well be true. Cummings’s strategy is clearly to turn as many people as possible against the parliamentary process and the rule of law. The only beneficiaries of this will be the super rich who have been behind the anti-EU campaign from the start. Classic fascism in other words.

Rhosddu
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Rhosddu

X

Rhosddu
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Rhosddu

Cymru now has little or no chance of remaining in the EU (if that’s what it now wants) while part of the UK. Nor, if Brexit doesn’t happen, will Cymru be able to leave the UK while part of the EU (cf. Catalonia).

Solution: accept that the UK is leaving, declare independence when the post-Brexit political and economic excrement makes contact with the ventilation system, then hold a referendum on applying to join the EU as an independent state. Isn’t that what Scotland is likely to do?

Huw Davies
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Huw Davies

Good, clear and simple sense of direction. Now get on to Adam Price and tell him to shape up because the way he’s posturing at the moment particularly with those LimpDems is a disgrace. He says he doesn’t want to leave the EU, and behaves like he doesn’t want to leave the UK either. Making deals with those manipulative deviants is NOT the way ahead.

Rhosddu
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Rhosddu

Gobeithio fod o’n darllen y sylwau ar y blog hwn, Huw. I’m hoping he reads the comments on this blog.

Charles L. Gallagher
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Charles L. Gallagher

How nice to see 2nd rate English law catching-up with Scottish Law, where ‘PROOF’ not ‘Precedent’ rules the roost.

Jonathan Edwards
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Jonathan Edwards

We owe the Inner House. They produced a clear, simple and elegant reason for stopping Bojo. His lack of any explanation (therefore dubious, there was no good explanation). Essentially the Supreme Court adopted this,with one difference. They did not find Bojo lied. They hardly needed to. I think its wrong to say that this changes little. The act of prorogation was the Queen’s. She will not be happy that her act was ruled unlawful. .Bojo provided duff advice. His having got the Queen into trouble will really annoy British Monarchists. Inevitably, Remain will gain.

Simon Gruffydd
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Simon Gruffydd

An exceptionally sane article for a Remainer. Ifan concludes “the only way to stop Brexit is to find a way to change the minds of [Leavers]”. Given that the much ridiculed and preposterous idea in 2016 – that of a single European Union Army – has now turned out to be true, along with Verhofstadt talking about building an EU Empire, I think it’s fair to say the tide has gone out for the pro-EU movement – now matter what those monkeys down in Westminster and the courts get up to.

Steve Duggan
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Steve Duggan

While this Government still is a minority Government Parliamentarians should try and get another bill for a second referendum over the line. The only way to resolve Brexit is another referendum but with a super majority attached – say over 60% in favour of an option. If that is not achieved we go again until a clear consensus is arrived at. If we don’t do this half the country will be upset whether we leave or not. The current 3.8% majority is not a clear consensus of what the country as a whole wants no matter what the Brexiteers say.

Ernie The Smallholder
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Ernie The Smallholder

The policy of Brexit is the policy of protectionism. Protective policies may seem good in the short term but in the future longer term everyone is the loser in poorer growth rates in wealth – this is proven over the last hundred years. The issue is that many cannot see themselves benefiting as they do not have a stake in the economy: for example: there saving are not invested in shares in those companies that are part of the economy that has benefited through free trade. European Union membership has benefited Wales and Scotland in not only grants to build… Read more »

Richard Carr
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Richard Carr

If an independent Wales did join the EU and England stayed outside the single market and the customs union, then a hard border between the two countries, with customs checks on people and tariffs on goods crossing the border would be inevitable. That would cause huge disruption and inconvenience to hundreds of thousands of Welsh people who regularly cross the border on business, to visit family and even daily work commutes, to the point that it would be impractical. Not to mention the significant economic costs that it would cause. While the idea of Wales breaking free from an isolationist… Read more »

Rhosddu
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Rhosddu

Just bear in mind that the economic relationship between England and Wales is structured to benefit England , not Wales. I have no idea what you mean by the ‘social’ connection, unless you mean that we have to watch their television output because. other than S4C, we have no control over our broadcast media.

Richard Carr
Guest
Richard Carr

By “social connection” I mean the way hundreds of thousands of people in Wales cross the border regularly to see family, friends and for work etc without any hinderance and thought. Anything other than continuing with the completely open and frictionless border between the two countries that we have now would be very disruptive to these connections.

Pete Rogers
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Pete Rogers

This article is complete nonsense.
For starters all recent opinion polls give REMAIN to win a second referendum, including in Wales, where the original referendum was skewed by English people living on the borders (according to a study by Oxford University).
Also, half the electorate DID NOT vote Leave. Remain received 17 million votes out of an electorate of 37 million eligible voters, who did not vote fur Brexit.
Get your facts straight.

Richard Carr
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Richard Carr

I am inclined to agree with you Pete Rogers, it is now highly unlikely that we will be leaving the EU on 31 October and if we don’t then Johnson’s chances of winning an overall majority at the general election that would follow almost immediately afterwards would be low (as a revitalized Brexit Party would take large numbers of votes from the Conservatives) If the Conservatives don’t win a majority, then a hard Brexit would be stone dead in my view. We would end up with either the whole farce being abandoned altogether or a BRINO (Brexit in name only)… Read more »