The evidence from the Electoral Commission is clear – to follow through with Brexit now would be undemocratic

Those who persuaded the British people to vote for Brexit have now given up on a glorious future for global Britain. These arguments lie in tatters, buried beneath the government’s own studies into the impacts of Brexit showing it will be disastrous for the economy under any scenario. Instead, they are resorting to the “will of the people” mantra. Take Priti Patel’s recent tweet in which she says: “This is no longer an argument about whether Brexit was a good idea but is about democracy & standing by the democratic decision made by the people.” In other words, no matter how bad the consequences for all of us, we have to go ahead with Brexit because democracy demands it.

But upholding democracy is a selective affair for Brexiteers. The leave campaign has wasted no time in engaging in some mudslinging at the Electoral Commission, the body responsible for regulating our democracy. The commission’s investigation into Vote Leave found the campaign group broke the law by coordinating with sister campaign, BeLeave. Vote Leave has been fined £61,000 and both campaigns have been referred to the police. Yet the response from Vote Leave officials is to accuse the Electoral Commission of “false accusations” and being motivated by a political agenda, “unfounded claims and conspiracy theories”. It is worth reminding ourselves at this point that a host of senior government ministers sat on the Vote Leave campaign committee. These included Liam Fox, Iain Duncan Smith, Dominic Raab, Michael Gove, Boris Johnson, Steve Baker and Chris Grayling, as well as the defender of democracy herself, Priti Patel.

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