As our country enters a new era of freedom from being chained to the political and financial yoke of the European Union, it is timely to reflect on the main reason for the Remain loss, and also to acknowledge a major factor in the Leave victory.
Despite the Prime Minister’s pledge to “let the people decide” in the referendum, leaders of the main political parties in Parliament, major manufacturing companies, and Trade Unions urged their supporters, employees, membership, to vote to remain in the EU.
We were deluged with a smokescreen of “facts and figures,” scaremongering, untruths, crystal ball future promises.
The political leaders and party hierarchy badly misjudged the views of the grassroots electorate, particularly concerning the uncontrolled borders and migration, loss of National Sovereignty issues.
Jeremy Corbyn and his team were warned by their MPs of these electoral hazards but chose to bury their heads in the sand.
A major factor in the winning Leave vote was the groundwork done by UKIP and their supporters in the years leading up to and including the Referendum, and for their manifesto stance on uncontrolled migration and loss of National Sovereignty.
In Nigel Farage, the party has a leader par excellence. Like or loathe his political views, the man has television and public charisma, together with a keen debating mind and the gift of oratory.
Voters were attracted to his cause, so much so that over four million people voted UKIP at the last election. Due to our electoral system this resulted in one seat in Parliament.
The Referendum vote was whether to Remain in or Leave the EU. Grassroots voters irrespective of the Party line, latched on to these two major issues which all political parties apart from UKIP were reluctant to address. Party loyalties were put to one side and many people voted to leave the EU based on these two issues alone.
It is remarkable that a political party with one seat in Parliament, and a leader who has failed to be elected, has done so much to fight for the independence of our country, championed their cause, and greatly helped to win over the Leave voters to free us from the European Union.
In this age of honours and titles to some people who have done little for their country and a lot for themselves, we owe Nigel Farage deep gratitude for the work which he and UKIP have done to face up to controversial issues while all other parties have kept a low profile. His leadership and the common sense of the Leave grassroots electorate greatly helped to win our Independence Day - arise Sir Nigel.
Busk Meadow, Sheffield, S5