Left Foot Forward
Published: 29th June 2016
“Tory Brexiteers managed to exploit the hostility felt towards politicians – something they themselves have engendered – and presented voting Leave as an act of rebellion… They energised people’s disgruntlement with globalisation and exhaustion with austerity and channeled it into a destructive but powerful movement for change.
“As radical politicians our role now is to respond to the cry of pain that drove our country to make what I consider a disastrous decision and use its energy to revitalise both our democracy and the progressive politics that we believe in.
“I think it may have been the novelty of their vote counting that confused the ‘Regrexiteers’; they regarded their little cross as a gesture and then were horrified when they discovered that they had changed history.
“We must not allow the far right to use the vote in the referendum as a domestic mandate. People on the right and the left voted for Brexit and it implies nothing in terms of domestic politics.
“We must hold the Brexit majority to their statements about sovereignty and democracy. In the context of multi-party politics it is no longer democratically acceptable to have a choice between two parties who will exercise sole power… First past the post is holding our country back and if we the people really want to take control we must demand a fair electoral system.
“We cannot use the Channel as a barrier against the rise of fascism in continental Europe any more than we can imagine that the City of London provides a buffer against crisis in the Eurozone.
“In parallel with revitalising our democracy at home we must continue to work with progressive forces across our continent to maintain stability, democracy and peace across Europe.”