ERG Vice Chairman: Anti-Brexit MPs Launching ‘Coup Against the British People’

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A senior Tory Brexiteer has warned that “up themselves” parliamentarians, led by Remainers from his own party, are launching “a coup against the British people” in order to “destroy Brexit”.

Mark Francois MP, vice chairman of the influential European Research Group (ERG) faction of Tory Brexiteers, told talkRadio’s Julia Hartley-Brewer, “What is happening is that in the House of Commons a group of MPs, led by Oliver Letwin and Dominic Grieve — both of whom have lost the support of their local Conservative associations because of their appalling behaviour — have basically tried to launch a coup against the British people.”

Mr Francois was speaking ahead of a series of so-called “indicative votes” intended to demonstrate how the Remainer-dominated House of Commons wishes to see Brexit taken forward — or not — now that Theresa May’s Remainer-dominated government has failed to pass its deal with the European Union for a third time.

The impasse has already seen exit day delayed for a relatively short time, and MPs like Messrs Letwin and Grieve could well contrive to have it pushed deep into 2020, assuming the European Council does not decide to force a break itself.

“These men are utterly determined, and they know exactly what they’re doing… it is a coup; it’s a coup against the British people,” Mr Francois repeated.

“But I hope very much that this coup will not succeed.”

Over 80 percent of MPs were elected on manifestos promising to deliver Brexit in 2017 — with the Tories, in particular, pledging to end Free Movement migration and take Britain out of the EU Customs Unions — but, nevertheless, the overwhelming majority of them, including the Prime Minister herself, are former Remainers, and they have now passed non-binding votes against a No Deal break with the bloc on two occasions.

Many claim this is perfectly in line with the doctrine of “parliamentary sovereignty”, according to their interpretation of the long-dead Edmund Burke’s famous address to his electors in Bristol, in which he claimed that an MP, “owes you not his industry only, but his judgment; and he betrays, instead of serving you, if he sacrifices it to your opinion.”

Mr Francois, however, insisted that, “ultimately, the people are sovereign, not the MPs; they elect us, it’s not the other way round — and, as it becomes more and more obvious that MPs, some of whom are completely up themselves, think they are superior to the people who elected them, the people are going to get more and more angry.”

Mr Francoia’s take on sovereignty is in line with another of Edmund Burke’s dictum — less popular with politicians — that the “virtue, spirit, and essence of a House of Commons consists in its being the express image of the feelings of the nation… not instituted to be a control upon the people, as of late it has been taught, [but] designed as a control for the people,” which he expressed in his Thoughts on the Present Discontents.

Pertinently, Burke also expressed a view that “in all disputes between [the people] and their rulers, the presumption is at least upon a par in favour of the people.”

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