REFERENDUM OPINION: By John Hayes MP
On Thursday, the people of Britain made a historic choice.
During the long referendum campaign, there was a lot of talk about specific issues, but the decision to leave the EU is much more profound in its significance.
The result affirms our identity, who we are and who should have authority over us. The people’s will is the nation’s will.
The nation is where we put our faith and place our loyalty. It provides the connection between those that decide and those their decisions effect.
What is less easy to grasp is why some commentators and so-called experts would rather have continued to see authority vested in unaccountable European bodies than in their own nation.
Why is their world view so at odds with what we now know, with certainty, the British people want?
It is hard to grasp until you realise that these power brokers – the big banks, the soulless corporates, the European rights lawyers, grown rich on fees, are not only completely detached from the people whose lives they can change at a stroke, but assumed that what they say is all that matters and should be accepted without question – to disagree, they assumed, was either vulgar or worse.
Immigration is a perfect example – ordinary people’s understandable doubts about the dramatic change to much-loved towns, like those here in Lincolnshire, wrought by mass immigration is perceived by this fat-cat elite as at best wrong, or, at worst, racist.
What the remainers failed to grasp is that the lens through which they see the world has distorted their vision.
Having benefited from open borders and cheap labour, they brushed to one side the justifiable concerns of the great majority who have not.
Those who have power – through money and connections – are dismissive of those whose influence depends on their connection to community and nation.
It is our nation that gives us our shared sense of identity and place – it gives the people their voice.
We have taken back control; now we can shape our own destiny. The referendum result has forced us to redefine what is possible.
It is not about adjusting trade or any other particular policy, but about something much greater – altering the whole way that power is distributed, reigniting the fire of the people’s will.
The road ahead is bound to be uncertain because the future always is, but – at last – we will determine the direction we take.