This week, as I was having my bi-annual peruse over provincial Midlands newspapers, I read that if there was a hypothetical party that promised to overturn Brexit it would beat Labour into third place; gaining just over 25% of the vote in a General Election.
Although I was initially amused that even a fictional party could beat Jeremy Corbyn, I soon felt myself becoming irritated. It emerged that a letter has been sent to Phillip Hammond, signed by 41 Labour and Lib Dem MPs, demanding that in the upcoming Autumn statement he MUST say that the £350 million a week saved by leaving the EU will be put towards the NHS.
The letter went on to say: “Anything else will be a betrayal of the wishes of the British people. We challenge you, when you stand up in the House of Commons on November 23rd, to show us the money and commit to Vote Leave’s promise; or explain why you cannot, and why your cabinet colleagues so cynically misled the British people.”
Clearly, the signatory MPs are misleading the public mood. Not only that, they are being entirely disingenuous. They know full well that this isn’t how the country’s finances work, and even if it was the money would not be available until 2019 at the very earliest.
We also need to be honest about this: Phillip Hammond was not part of the Vote Leave campaign. He never made the promise that £350 million a week would go to the NHS, thus, he has no obligation to give in to the demands of deluded MPs and fulfil the slogans of the Vote Leave campaign.
We voted for the UK to leave the EU, we did not vote to elect Vote Leave.
The remainers are now in a weirdly masochistic state of mind. They purport to tell the government that “now that we’ve lost, you need to do all of the things that we so vehemently protested against during the campaign.” This letter needs to be called out for what it is: an embarrassing attempt to try and destabilise the government, and a limp attempt at winning back votes from a strong Tory party.
The MPs who signed this letter all know that they are actively trying to mislead the public. This letter exposes the contempt that some Remain campaigners have for those of us that voted to leave the EU.
The arrogant way in which MPs like Chuka Umunna try and talk down to Leave voters is a disgrace: “He has a month to work out how the Government are going to find the money to keep this promise. If he can’t I hope his pro-Leave colleagues will explain why they pulled the wool over the eyes of so many voters during the campaign.”
He talks as if those that voted to Leave had no idea what they were doing, couldn’t do any of their own research about the issue, and were just following Johnson and Gove like a herd of sheep. What the Remainers don’t understand is that there are many legitimate reasons to leave the European Union and that voters are able to make up their own minds.
The post referendum polling data done by Lord Ashcroft proved the minimal effect that the referendum campaign groups actually had on voters. 58% of Leave voters and 58% of Remain voters had already made up their minds before either campaign launched, long before the infamous “battle bus” made an appearance.
The data also shows that most Leave voters cited self-governance as their primary motivation, with immigration their second priority. What we know for certain is that freeing up more money to the NHS was simply was not a notable factor.
To Chuka Umunna, and those other MPs who signed the letter, I say this; you need to accept that Britain will leave the EU, and contribute to making a success of it.
Julius is a student studying at Cambridge University. He worked for Zac Goldsmith before heading up to University. Here, he combines his love of politics and German (his degree), with his love of music. Follow him on Twitter: @
The views expressed in this article are that of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Conservatives for Liberty