R Julian Cox
Professor Michael Dougan was in fighting form when he addressed 850 “Remain” campaigners last week (Wednesday, 26th October) who had come to listen to him
at Bath’s historic “Forum” theatre.
It was packed even though the venue had been moved at the last moment to cater for the anticipated larger audience and funded through “crowd funding” operation subscribed through donating in advance a fiver or more a piece. Enthusiasm did not dim after an hour of Dougan’s speaking after which questions flowed thick and fast from an audience eager to learn what they could do next to continue their cause.
For those not familiar with Dougan he is professor of European Law together with holding the Jean Monnet chair in EU Law both at Liverpool University. He has gained quite a following for his depth of knowledge in all things European and where his views have been solicited by, amongst others, the British Government. He is a well known commentator on EU matters and where his “YouTube” video’s litter the channel. Detractors point out that the Jean Monnet chair is funded by the EU to the tune of £50,000 over three years!
In his address Dougan was dismissive of those wanting to fight ‘yesterday’s battle’.
‘The referendum result is over and done.The chance of a second referendum is zero. And few in Parliament are prepared to try and thwart what a democratic majority had voted for.’ By far the best idea he opined, was to make the best of Brexit and in the process seize back the agenda from the ideologues who had so far dominated the whole, referendum debate.
“More is at stake than Europe, Dougan said. ‘Democracy itself is in peril. What is the worst you can do is nothing! It is perverse that even now we are seeing
the sovereignity of Parliament, the body central to all law making activities in a democratic society, undermined by a Government reluctant to allow it to express its views on the EU debate.’
Dougan said ideology and ideologues had been the key drivers of the whole referendum campaign. ‘And like all ideologues they told lies. When found out do what all ideologues do: they tell bigger lies!’
‘Democracy is ever changing’, Dougan said. ‘When one side loses it does not mean the losers must forever keep quiet. If they believe in their cause it means they must fight even harder. Much is at stake.’
‘The choice is simple for you. Fight even harder. Or watch our democracy wither.’