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Friday, December 21, 2018

Putin and the three brexiteers

Whatever the role that Russia played in supporting the Leave campaign in 2016, you have to give it to Vladmir Putin, he has some chutzpah in coming out openly against a second referendum and for Brexit at his annual press conference.

How many leaders of democratic countries wish they could get away with talking to the media just once a year? I suppose, if you are going to adopt that method of working, you had better have something worth reporting, and Putin certainly ensures that he does.

As the Independent reports, the Russian President used his annual meet-the-press to unexpectedly throw his weight behind Theresa May’s Brexit plans:

“The referendum happened,” he said. “What can she do? She should fulfil the will of her nation, as expressed at the referendum. Or it isn’t a referendum.”

The Kremlin has been accused of attempting to influence the initial Brexit vote, but that did not deter the Russian president from warning against a second people’s vote.

Not to implement Brexit now would be to repudiate “direct democracy”, he said, adding: “Is it democracy not to care about this Brexit and continue voting until someone is happy with the result?”

So speaks the great defender of democracy, whose country is already implicated in seeking to undermine at least three national ballots in an attempt to destabilise the west and give Russia a geopolitical advantage.

Whether the likes of Jacob Rees-Mogg, Boris Johnson and Michael Gove will be so enamoured of securing Putin's support for their cause is another matter. Of course, if some reports are to be believed, the Leave campaign, fronted by that trio, has already enjoyed that privilege. I suspect Theresa May will be even less comfortable.

The point, of course, is that Brexit, like democracy itself is an event not a process. People get to vote again and again to change governments. More to the point, having voted to set Brexit up, and having now assessed the consequences of that vote, people should have the right to decide whether they got what they asked for in the first place, or to reset the clock back before June 2016.
Good post,but remember (and don't forget to remind people) that the Conservatives since 2016 have presided over a lot of irreversible damage that has already been done, jobs lost and moved to Germany etc, EU institutions moved away and our friends in Europe now a whole lot more hacked off with us than ever before.

We can't set the clock back on those disasters, and Thersa May, and Jeremy Corbyn (both for not fighting against it anything like enough) and David Cameron and Nick Clegg (for letting it happen in the first place) all bear a big responsibility.
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