The Corner

Politics & Policy

Brexit Champion Daniel Hannan: ‘There Are Crybabies on Both Sides of the Atlantic’

After his talk about the special relationship between the U.S. and U.K., British member of the European parliament and Brexit champion Daniel Hannan took a question about the process of leaving the EU, and he assured attendees that it was right on schedule, despite the “crybabies” still trying to stop it. His description of how angry students have responded to the democratic process will be eerily familiar to Americans:

There are some crybabies on both sides of the Atlantic, who don’t accept the verdict of the people as final. And you can see this — it’s exactly the same kind of people on both sides (of the Atlantic). It’s the slightly spoiled millennials, it’s the generation of the safe spaces and the micro-aggressions and the trigger warnings, who have been taught from the moment they went to school that the correct way to deal with a difficult opinion is to try to silence it, and that someone disagreeing with them is a form of violence, rather than something that just happens in life.

Most of the people who voted to stay the EU — the vast majority, numerically, in Britain — have accepted the result with equanimity and have said, “Let’s get on with it.” But there is a small number of mainly students, who always saw it as being about them — they see everything as being about them. They didn’t sit down and do a cost-benefit analysis — could Britain do better if we do this or that? — it was entirely about “Am I a nice cosmopolitan, outward looking person or am I an evil, wicked bigot?” Well, they never heard, because they never wanted to hear, any of the economical, constitutional, or democratic arguments for leaving.

Having built up in their minds the referendum purely as a Kulturkampf between decent internationalist people and nasty racists, can you imagine the shock they must have felt waking up on the 24th of June to think that 52 percent of their fellow countrymen were racists? That’s why they’re struggling to come to terms with it.

His entire talk, given at the Heritage Foundation, is well worth listening to.

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