A Conservative MP has provoked fury on social media after a video emerged in which he appeared to suggest Scottish and Northern Irish voters had only taken part in the EU referendum because England had allowed them to.
Bernard Jenkin was delivering a speech on the effects of Brexit on the Devolved Administrations at Queen’s university, Belfast in March this year when he was asked about Northern Ireland voting to remain in the EU.
The Conservative MP for Harwich & North Essex replied: “I mean it may seem a tiresome technicality, but it was a United Kingdom referendum and the last time Ireland [sic] voted, they wanted to be part of the United Kingdom – and the same goes for Scotland, we let them vote in our referendum.”
He added: “And they helped decide the result for the whole of the United Kingdom.”
The remarks only came to light after an SNP MP posted a video clip on social media. Dr Philippa Whitford MP tweeted: “How kind of the UK Government to allow Scotland to vote in their [EU] referendum!”
The video clip provoked fury online. One poster added: “It was indeed England’s referendum. They took absolutely no notice of Scottish or NI votes and #BrexitShambles is the result. The UK is finished.”
Another said: “They give their arrogant sense of entitlement and imperial disdain away every time they open their odious traps. They’re not even aware of it. The idea that we are allowed to participate in democracy presented as “a favour”.”
Jenkins, who is an avid Brexiteer, is no stranger to controversy. Only last month he compared UK Govt negotiations with the EU with the Falklands war.
In an article for The Sun newspaper, Jenkins wrote: “A decision by Parliament to dilute or to stop Brexit would be like deciding to abandon the Falkland Islands in 1982 without a fight.
“Winning back the Falklands transformed our national confidence and standing in the world. Brexit will do this too. Surrendering the Falklands would have finished Margaret Thatcher and left Britain looking cowed and washed up – no longer a great power.”
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