The United Kingdom European Union membership referendum
, also known as the EU referendum and the Brexit referendum, took place on 23 June 2016 in the United Kingdom (UK) and Gibraltar to ask the electorate if the country should remain a member of, or leave the European Union (EU), under the provisions of the European Union Referendum Act 2015 and also the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000. The referendum resulted in 51.9% of votes being in favour of leaving the EU. Although legally the referendum was non-binding, the government of that time had promised to implement the result, and it initiated the official EU withdrawal process on 29 March 2017, meaning that the UK was due to leave the EU before 11PM on 29 March 2019, UK time, when the two-year period for Brexit negotiations expired.
Membership of the EU and its predecessors has long been a topic of debate in the United Kingdom. The country joined what were then the three European Communities, principally the European Economic Community (EEC, or "Common Market"), in 1973. A previous referendum on continued membership of the then European Communities (Common Market) was held in 1975, and it was approved by 67.2% of those who voted.
In May 2015, in accordance with a Conservative Party manifesto commitment following their victory at the 2015 UK general election, the legal basis for a referendum on EU membership was established by the UK Parliament through the European Union Referendum Act 2015. Britain Stronger in Europe was the official group campaigning for the UK to remain in the EU, and was endorsed by the Prime Minister David Cameron and Chancellor George Osborne. Vote Leave was the official group campaigning for the UK to leave the EU, and was fronted by the Conservative MP Boris Johnson, Secretary of State for Justice Michael Gove and Labour MP Gisela Stuart. Other campaign groups, political parties, businesses, trade unions, newspapers and prominent individuals were also involved, and each side had supporters from across the political spectrum.
Immediately after the result, financial markets reacted negatively worldwide, and Cameron announced that he would resign as Prime Minister and Leader of the Conservative Party, having campaigned unsuccessfully for a "Remain" vote. It was the first time that a national referendum result had gone against the preferred option of the UK Government. Cameron was succeeded by Home Secretary Theresa May on 13 July 2016. The opposition Labour Party also faced a leadership challenge as a result of the EU referendum. Several campaign groups and parties (supporting both leave and remain) have been fined by the Electoral Commission for campaign finance irregularities, with the fines imposed on Leave.EU and BeLeave constrained by the cap on the commission's fines. There is also an ongoing investigation into possible Russian interference in the referendum.[]
The UK’s democratic crisis – over 3 years in the making
We present: “My Foreign Friend’s Guide to Brexit and UK Democracy”
The rest of the world is looking on with astonishment and incredulity at the state of democracy in the country which is generally seen as its birthplace.
Just as with the media in the UK, significant elements of the non-EU foreign media are pro-EU - mainly because their Brussels correspondents “go native” and their newsdesks back home know little about the EU, thinking it’s a trading bloc. Those that do know something tend to be of the ‘open borders, love everyone equally’ persuasion.
Here, then is your handy Brexit Facts4EU.Org summary for your friends in other countries. Readers may also find this useful for their British Remainer friends.
BREXIT FACTS4EU.ORG SUMMARY === “My Foreign Friend’s Guide to Brexit and UK Democracy”
The EU Referendum on 23 June 2016
In 2016 the British people voted
to leave the European Union in the largest vote for anything, ever
The Government, all parties, and all campaign groups – for and against Brexit – committed to honour the result The Prime Minister even promised to give notice to the EU “the next day” if the people voted to leave There was no condition on whether to leave only on the EU’s terms – the choice was Remain or Leave Nothing happened for the next nine months
The Government broke its promise to the voters
and failed to give notice the next day
Prime Minister Cameron resigned and the new PM (Theresa May) was appointed The new PM chose a new Cabinet of ministers which was 74% pro-EU (i.e. had voted to Remain) She delayed giving notice to the EU for nine months and eventually did so on 29 March 2017 Eventually our pro-Remain Parliament voted by five-to-one to give notice to the EU The formal notice under the EU Treaty terms did not include a trade deal until after the UK had left The snap General Election of June 2017
Prime Minister May called an election when polls were favourable ===== Her (Conservative) party’s campaign was lamentable and she ended up with no majority She was forced to enter an agreement with the main Northern Ireland party (DUP) to hang on to power Both major parties – Conservative and Labour – campaigned on manifestos promising to respect the EU Referendum result More than 80% of all votes went to parties committed to honouring the people’s decision in 2016 The two-year notice period (known as “Article 50” of the EU Treaty)
Despite having had a year since the British people voted to leave,
the EU wasn’t ready until June 2017
Negotiations started, but in March 2018 the PM removed all power from her Brexit Secretary On 26 June Parliament voted for the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018, with 29 Mar 2019 as exit day The PM gave power to unelected pro-EU civil servants, who negotiated a “Withdrawal Agreement” (WA) The WA was in effect a surrender treaty, and in early 2019 it was rejected by Parliament three times The vote against it was one of the biggest in Parliamentary history and both Remain and Leave MPs rejected it A quick note about the non-problem of Northern Ireland
UK Customs, Republic of Ireland Customs, =====
and the EU Parliament’s own Customs expert dismissed this
They did so back in 2016 & 2017, then were prevented from working together by the Irish government and the EU The Customs teams of both countries said “there is NO need for infrastructure at the border” Solutions existed then, and they exist now This whole issue was dreamt up by the EU to keep the UK in the EU Delay after delay, frustrating Brexit
With her ‘deal’ roundly rejected, the
PM sought an extension to the two-year notice period
Instead of leaving the EU on 29 March, the date was put back to 12 April – the legality of this is still questioned The PM then sought yet another extension, to 31 Oct 2019 As part of this, she agreed to stand down as Prime Minister which she finally did on 24 July 2019 She did so on the back of the Conservatives coming an astonishing fifth in the EU Parliament elections The Brexit Party of Nigel Farage was the clear winner, and it is now the biggest party in the EU Parliament The Boris bounce
a prominent leader of the Leave campaign in 2016 and former Foreign Secretary,
He was elected by Conservative party members across the country Faced with finally having to live up to the promises on which they were elected, some MPs started quitting Since then he has also removed 21 more – they stay in Parliament but are no longer officially Conservative MPs The Conservative Party received a major ‘bounce’ in the polls since Mr Johnson became PM The present day – and the astonishing events in ‘the Mother of all Parliaments’
In Parliament, the Government of the day normally controls the daily business
Remainer MPs have combined to take control of Parliament
, with the Speaker overturning centuries of tradition
The Speaker is an ardent Remainer
, he is supposed to be impartial, but sadly he is not An Act has been passed which dictates that the Government cannot implement the will of the people The Act receives Royal Assent tomorrow (Monday) and the Government can no longer govern on this issue The decision on when the UK can leave the EU will have been passed to the EU The Prime Minister must obey, or face prison The truth about these dire days for British democracy
Boris Johnson is trying to implement the will of the people
, defined in the largest vote for anything in UK history A majority of MPs in Parliament, despite being elected to do so, are refusing These MPs have removed power from the Government and are taking it for themselves Worse, they refuse to submit themselves to a decision by the voters The PM asked for a General Election on Friday – denied by anti-democratic MPs and parties He will ask again tomorrow (Monday) – he will again be denied, by anti-democratic MPs and their parties Summary
What is more democratic than asking the people who they want to lead them? What are the MPs in Parliament afraid of? Losing their seats, perhaps...? OBSERVATIONS We live in dark days, where MPs who stood on manifestos saying one thing are now doing another. If this involved only a handful, this would not be unusual.
Unfortunately the country is now facing a majority of Parliamentary MPs deliberately flaunting any semblance of democratic legitimacy. They are doing so on the biggest political issue of our age.
This issue was already decided by the British people in 2016. They may not like it, but it was the decision of the people.
For three years and three months these MPs have done everything they can to delay and block Brexit. The British people might be a patient lot, but we suspect that this patience is very rapidly running out.
To our overseas readers, we hope this summary was useful. One of the greatest exercises in democracy took place on 23 June 2016. One of the worst exercises in the destruction of democracy is now taking place by a few hundred elected representatives in the UK Parliament.
We leave you, dear overseas reader, to decide whether a Government which is happy to go to the people for a renewed mandate is acting correctly, or whether to back those who would deny the people their democratic right in circumstances such as these. You may also wish to question why the majority of Parliament wants to give the decision of when and how to leave the EU to the EU itself, instead of simply implementing the decision of the British people to leave.
These are, as we wrote above, dark times. If you would like us to keep going, please donate something today. Thank you.
[ Sources: Almost four years of detailed research, contained in our daily reports ] Politicians and journalists can contact us for details, as ever.
Brexit Facts4EU.Org, Sun 08 Sep 2019
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">BIAS AT WIKI “broad consensus among economists is that Brexit will likely reduce the UK's real per capita income in the medium term and long term, and that the Brexit referendum itself had damaged the economy. “ NOT Lawson & MervynKing who Say the OPPOSITE</p>— Blackwater River (@BlackwaterRive2) <a href="https://twitter.com/BlackwaterRive2/status/1170982549608378368?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">September 9, 2019</a></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>