Banbury woman says the Leave campaign overspent: the vote should have been annulled - Letters to the Editor

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The Leave campaign overspent: the vote should have been annulled but only a fine was applied, says one Banbury correspondent.

In his brilliant book “Bringing Down Goliath”, Jolyon Maugham KC, founder of the Good Law Project, exposes the ways in which the law has been misused. Everyone is supposed to be subject to and equal before the law, but in practice money buys power and skews justice. Jolyon strives to use the law to protect people and restore justice.

He exposes the democratic failure of Brexit. The referendum was advisory but held without constitutional safeguards. Referendums elsewhere have a “double lock” on constitutional changes, requiring an overall majority plus majorities in each region.

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Provisions discouraging cheating – lying or overspending – should be expected. In sport cheaters are disqualified. This should apply to elections but was stripped out of the 2016 referendum. The Leave campaign overspent: the vote should have been annulled but only a fine was applied.

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This wasn’t the only governance failure. Without Brexit being defined – how could electors agree to it? Baking in contradictory definitions was the only way “consent” was achieved. A second vote was floated to tempt wavering voters – but refused. Voting on a provisional deal was reasonable, but denied by the powerful.

The referendum created a democratic imperative for leaving, but not a legal one. Judges like “good process” but there was no process to request a re-run. Parliament intended MPs not judges to decide the outcome. Whether or not triggering Article 50 was irreversible was never discussed. Government wanted to avoid the possibility of a reversal.

When obtaining agreement on what type of Brexit proved impossible Boris sought to avoid the issue by leaving without a deal and prorogued parliament. Gina Miller challenged the legality of this and the Supreme Court ruled it unlawful. Tories threatened to curtail the power of judges as they disliked the outcome.

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Leaving the single market wasn’t an inevitable part of Brexit and predictably raised prices and made exports more difficult. We didn’t take back control - we gave it to the Tories. Boris was also a security risk due to partying with a Russian oligarch, Lebedev, with links to Putin – and making him a lord.

Carol Broom via email

Does anyone remember my father Dr Marcus Pfeffer who was the sole GP at the Broad Street surgery in 1948 when the NHS was born.

Apparently he was the only doctor in Banbury in favour of the NHS – perhaps because he was working then for the Friends Society Medical Association, a forerunner to the NHS which gave members free medical advice and medicines even then.

My father also had a surgery in Kings Sutton and was doctor to Banbury Spencer Football Club where he became friends with chairman Robert Allen and particularly manager Jimmy Cringan.

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He died in 1965. His patients gave him an emotional and loving send off with a memorial service at St Mary’s.

Peter Phillips, Loudwater, Hertfordshire

During August and beginning of September Banburyshire Advice Centre will be running a reduced service due to staff holidays and training and it may be difficult to get appointments during this period. Thank you for your understanding.

Andy Willis, Chairman, BAC, Banbury

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