Watching the House of Commons ‘debates’ tonight – in reality, a bland series of self-promoting monologues like it always is – one could be forgiven for thinking that these earnest servants of the public were sincere, and that their frustrations with being kept away from the process were genuine and warranted.
Nothing could be further from reality. Many, though admittedly not all of the long faces now mouthing the same old platitudes were already members in 2015 when the Referendum Bill was passed.
“When will we get to have our say?”, they all cry, cheerfully ignoring the fact that the overwhelming majority of sitting MPs waved it through without a hint of the detail-oriented responsibility they now claim to embody.
I don’t often have good words to say about the SNP, but they have at least been consistent on this matter and are to be absolved of this particular hypocrisy.
Left unasked at that time, almost without exception, were these nebbish questions about voting systems and timelines and processes. ‘What does ‘leaving’ mean?’ is a very obvious question, but it’s not as if they didn’t have time to think about it.
Of course, it’s generally accepted at this stage that they didn’t feel it was worth thinking about because they didn’t think Leave would win.
The arrogant complacency is typical, not just over the past 3 years but the past 30. Successive governments have been asleep at the wheel, not thinking or not caring that progressively greater portions of our industry and international capacity were being spirited away by the EU or by its predecessor body. Every ‘No Deal’ horror story of water transportation or the need for medical stockpiles is, against their intentions, solid proof that we’ve let this go on for too long already.
The problems of this country are many, and significant. UKIP will not make any glib promises about solving anything overnight – but the sooner we can start, the better.