The campaign to remain in the EU has gained an unlikely new inspiration today.
In a speech to the European Parliament this morning, European Council president Donald Tusk opened the door to reversing Article 50.
With support growing for a second referendum, the Polish politician told British citizens: “Our hearts are still open to you.”
Unless there is a change of heart among our British friends, #Brexit will become a reality – with all its negative consequences – March next year. We, here on the continent, haven’t had a change of heart. Our hearts are still open for you.
— Donald Tusk (@eucopresident) January 16, 2018
And he made the argument that rethinking Brexit was legitimate with a little help from…Brexit Secretary David Davis. Tusk pointed out:
“Wasn’t it David Davis himself who said: ‘If a democracy cannot change its mind, it ceases to be a democracy.'”
Hats off to the EU researcher who dug that line out of the archives.
That absolute gem of a quote is from a 2012 speech Davis gave on the EU, the transcript of which is still on his website. Davis also said:
“In democratic nations we hold regular meaningful elections where voters can stick with what they have or wipe the slate clean.
“Crucial to this principle of people power is the rule that a government cannot bind its successors.
“For example, if a party won an election promising to cut taxes, then it would have a mandate to do so.
“But if that party could then pass a law saying no government could ever raise taxes again, it would undermine the right of the electorate to change its mind in future.”
A poll published yesterday by Left Foot Forward found 58% of the public would support a second referendum in the event of a ‘no deal’ Brexit.
When it comes, that Davis quote will look good on the side of the Remain bus…