Durham students vote to “regret Brexit”

By Cameron McIntosh

Durham students voted by a narrow margin to support the motion ‘This House Regrets Brexit’ after an impassioned debate between high-profile public figures at the Durham Union Society.

The motion, which was sup- ported by Conservative MP Anna Soubry, Labour peer Lord Adonis and Cambridge Professor Brendan Simms, passed by a margin of 105 votes to 82 on the night, after several hours of debate.

Although a greater margin than the Brexit referendum itself, which split the country 52% to 48%, the support for Brexit was much higher among Durham stu- dents than is the case for most young people aged between 18 and 24. According to a YouGov poll, 75% of voters in that demo- graphic voted remain, alongside a majority of those aged 25-49.

“Despite all these experts, some- how 17.4 million people in Britain said ‘nah, we’ll take our chances thanks, we’re not going to listen to you,’”

Speaking for the opposition were former Secretary of State Peter Lilley, former UKIP MEP Ste- ven Woolfe and right-wing journalist James Delingpole.

Delingpole opened his speech by referring to a controversial column he produced for The Spectator in which he claimed: “For a real Oxbridge education you have to go to Durham.”

The executive editor of Breitbart London expressed delight in returning to Durham, which he described as a “decent, proper University” compared to the “horrible Oxbridge”.

Likening Britain’s decision to leave the European Union to “taking down the Death Star” and being “given the keys to our prison doors,” Delingpole spoke passionately about the democratic verdict of June 23rd 2016.

“It was the first vote I’d ever cast in my life that I felt really, really counted for something,” he said.

Despite his private school background and Oxbridge education, he declared himself “a man of the people… the people of the North, the people of the countryside,” and expressed his disdain for those opposed to Brexit, whom he labelled “corporate lawyers, bankers, quangocrats, [and] people who work for Greenpeace”.

He continued in the same vein: “Despite all these experts, somehow 17.4 million people in Britain said ‘nah, we’ll take our chances thanks, we’re not going to listen to you,’” which he explained was because “they simply grasped something people who read gender studies at the University of the West of England didn’t – good old-fashioned common sense.”

In characteristic style, the right-wing commentator joked: “Call me an honorary peasant … on Brexit I feel like I am [one of the mob].” Similar sentiments were echoed by former Conservative Secretary of State for Social Security, Peter Lilley, who said: “We should be delighted that we have taken back control,” and spoke of the oppor- tunity to “have a genuinely non- racist immigration policy, about numbers not nationality.”

The final speaker for the opposition was a former UKIP politician Steven Woolfe, who was once touted as the successor to Nigel Farage. He said to the audience: “You are living in a period of history that not only will you remember, but also your children will remember.”

Anna Soubry, who was labelled one of the ‘Brexit mutineers’ by the front page of The Daily Telegraph last year, countered these speeches in her own address.

Soubry said: “Call me old-fashioned, but I think one of the ways you win a debate is to make a good argument.”

“I hang my head in shame,” said the Tory politician of the division created by the Brexit vote

Upon Steven Woolfe’s attempt to interrupt her, she quipped, “You’re both a buggar and a bastard,” which she claimed were words borrowed from Delingpole and not her own. Directly addressing the latter, she said “the most you’ve ever done in your life is to write for The Daily Telegraph.”

“I hang my head in shame,” said the Tory politician of the division created by the Brexit vote. Citing a case wherein one of her constituents was the victim of a racially motivated incident in the immediate aftermath of the referendum, she lamented that many people “feel they are no longer wanted in our country”.

Soubry went on to say Brexit was “a huge distraction from the big issues that face our country,” which was supported by former education minister and serving Labour peer, Lord Adonis.

Although Adonis recognised that “there is a massive challenge faced by a left behind Britain,” he said Brexit “is seeking to scapegoat Europe and foreigners for all of the problems at home.”

He said directly to the audience composed largely of young people: “You’re going to have to live with the consequences.”

After the victory for the proposition side, Lord Adonis wrote triumphantly of the result: “Students know their future is being trashed by ideology”.

Photograph: Durham Union Society

5 Responses

Leave a Reply
  1. Tony Sutton
    Feb 14, 2018 - 07:13 PM

    A democratic vote, just because you don’t like the outcome is irrelevant, get on with making our country the best it can be outside of the EU. Tusk and his cronies have alienated anyone who might have been on the fence… Adonis, Soubry, the vile traitor Blair have the option to emigrate if they don’t like how things have turned out. I will gladly drop them off at the airport.

    Reply
    • Karen Duncan
      Feb 17, 2018 - 06:12 AM

      I agree. Adonis, Blair, Soubry are just plainly bad losers and are trying to manipulate our young. It is about the money to them. Blair and Kinnock, with the Unions started the downfall of Britain, yet they are now millionaires, why, how,have they received all this money. It is plain to see from the 17.4 million people that to remain is not good for the British people but to remain only helps the MP’s on the gravy train.

      Reply
  2. AndrewVoss
    Feb 14, 2018 - 07:46 PM

    Soubry ,Blair,clegg and any other MP should be citizen arrested for treason against the UK.
    And that should be done by either a serving or retired MEP ,or MP that knows the LAW of the UK..
    Deportation to Germany or France. As permanent exiles no return even after death.
    A Democratic. Vote what ever the outcome is .the MP and MEP should respect and accept
    The final result of which the traitors soubry ,Blair ,clegg don’t. Like ,deliberate interfering
    To change the result is a criminal offence and trying to force the opposition through is a
    Prisonable offence

    Reply
  3. Frederick banjoman
    Feb 15, 2018 - 06:39 AM

    Students, and their commie tutors can express their vote when they are 18. Every generation repeats the mistakes of the ones before, not listening to older folks with experience, or who have studied the world and its jistory for more years than they have been on the planet. so they want to do th e opposite – it happens.

    this time kids the Grown Ups are handling things, Brexit will happen, it wont be repealed, you will all go forward to a Bright new future. So reject the Antifa, Commie stuff and wake up to reality eh?

    Reply
  4. Lasairfion Silverstar
    Feb 16, 2018 - 03:03 PM

    [Soubry went on to say Brexit was “a huge distraction from the big issues that face our country,” which was supported by former education minister and serving Labour peer, Lord Adonis.]

    Considering that the European Union is the largest entity to affect all aspects of the UK, and that Brexit is a disassociation from that influence that will be the biggest change in UK politics in decades; I can only think that she got her sentence completely backwards and meant to say that ‘other issues being discussed were a huge distraction from the Brexit that faces our country’.

    I’m likewise shocked that a former education minister and a peer didn’t notice this either. Perhaps they both need to go back to school?

    Reply

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