Douglas Carswell

14 SEP 2016

Have Remainers reached the acceptance stage?

One-time Remainer Charlie Elphicke is introducing a bill today to "implement the withdrawal of the UK from the EU." It's wonderful to see he's come to terms with the referendum result. Does this mean the Remain rearguard is finally accepting reality?

Charlie Elphicke's volte-face is remarkable. Just a few months ago, he was a full-throated campaigner for Project Fear.

He told us leaving the EU would somehow endanger Britain's bilateral Le Touquet treaty with France.

He made out we shouldn't restore British sovereignty, because it would only result in Vladimir Putin trying to take it away again.

I wonder what changed his mind. Did someone manage to explain to him that Britain and France had diplomatic relations before the EU? Or that the EU isn't the same as NATO?

Or was it the fact that the vast majority of his constituents in Dover voted Leave? Strange that his rigorous warnings failed to convince them.

The government doesn't need Parliament's support to trigger Article 50. It has a clear mandate from the people. Theresa May has made it clear she won't be putting that to a vote.

So this bill – like so much of what happens in the House of Commons these days – is a futile exercise. I'll be voting for it. But Britain is leaving the EU whether it succeeds or fails.

It will be interesting, though, to see how many Remain MPs still believe they can block the will of the people.

Some MPs just can't understand that, in a referendum, their vote is just one in 40 million. They seem to think their view counts for more than everyone else's.

Maybe today's debate will finally convince them that it doesn't.

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