A British MP has claimed that an “EU Commission employee located in Brussels [is] demanding… I vote to cancel UK referendum” result in Parliament.
Henry Smith (pictured), a Eurosceptic Conservative MP who represents Crawley, backed up his claim by posting a screen shot of an email from an unidentified employee of the European Union’s (EU) unelected executive arm to Twitter.
The messages explains that “the referendum is not legally binding on Parliament”, and asks Mr. Smith “to ensure with your fellow MPs that the house will reject any motion to invoke Art[icle] 50 of [the] Lisbon [treaty] to terminate the UK’s membership on the EU”.
Technically speaking, the author is correct about the legal status of the vote. However, they also attempt to democratically and morally justify overturning the vote by claiming the issue is too “complex” for normal people to have a say on.
“The vote on a decision involving such complex issues was made by an electorate that felt it was uninformed,” the email claims. The public’s inability to know the facts, the author says, owes to “misinformation put out” by the media and the Leave campaign.
Seriously, have just received email from EU Commission employee located in Brussels demanding as #Crawley MP I vote to cancel UK referendum!
— Henry Smith MP (@HenrySmithUK) July 4, 2016
“It can not be right that the country’s position on an issue of such gravity should be decided on such a narrow margin,” the letter adds, before comparing the UK to a private corporation, which would require “a special majority – usually 75 %” to alter its “constitution”.
Furthermore, “The reasons for holding the referendum in the first place were flawed; as you are aware, it was effectively held for domestic party political reasons, yet the outcome will shape Britain’s and Europe’s future for years to come” the email says.
The alleged EU Commission employee is not the first to argue along this line. Yesterday, it was reported that top law firm Mishcon de Reya will launch a legal bid to block the new Prime Minister triggering Article 50.
Last week, an EU lawyer told a supportive crowd in Trafalgar Square, that “the Prime Minister can, and indeed should, ignore the referendum result. He should give it to Parliament to decide. This referendum is non-binding.”
He said the “simple but constitutionally significant point” must be “taken seriously by the general public and their elected representatives,” before explicitly denouncing democratic process and arguing that only technocrats and “experts” should have a say on such issues.