In his article Owen Jones makes a number of important points: Brexit was and is a democratic decision by a sovereign people. To denigrate this is anything but democratic. The leaders of the movement for a second referendum, such as Tony Blair and Nick Clegg, are no more interested in a just or anti-neoliberal society than the leaders of Brexit. If people were so enthusiastic about remain, why did the Lib Dems, who were campaigning almost solely for remain in the recent parliamentary elections, receive less votes than in the previous election?
What Jones does not mention is some Remainers may claim that they are adherents of changing the EU from within. Since the referendum has anyone heard anything in this direction from the Remainers? Is there a “Make Britain a just and fair society Remain Campaign”? Remain currently means a return to the status quo. Leaving the status quo was exactly why many voted for Brexit. At the time of the referendum it appeared that the Blairites (many of whom are still important figures in the party) were about to once again impose their dominance over the Labour Party. Thus there was no real alternative to Brexit for those voters.
We at Brave New Europe don’t take a position on Brexit. While we recognise that many dark and odious forces lay behind the Brexit vote, and that the process will inflict significant economic damage on many people, we also know that European institutions and policies typically reflect a strong neoliberal slant – and we launched this project to oppose and change this. We have sympathy with the anger against European institutions – but we also believe in the principle of European cross-border co-operation and co-ordination in many areas. Reflecting this complex reality, we will host both pro-Brexit and pro-Remain articles.