Waking up yesterday morning to the news that the UK had voted to Leave the European Union may have shocked you.
Not me. I was delighted as I had been saying for some weeks that Leave could win.
Since the referendum date was announced it has dominated politics. Alliances across the Party divide were formed and campaigning involved sharing platforms with those not normally bed fellows. As a longstanding advocate of a referendum, I welcomed the Prime Minister’s commitment to one.
The feeling amongst the metropolitan elite of London and in the media was that this would settle the thorny issue of our relationship with the EU for ever.
Well,the result has certainly done that but not in the way most of them thought. One thing is very clear: the leaderships of all the major political parties in Parliament are out of touch with the feelings of millions of their natural supporters. Do we really think David Cameron would have allowed a referendum if he had not been confident of a Remain vote.?
The vote to Leave is sending shock waves through all parts of the political establishment.
The great and the good had lined up to tell the ignorant public that they knew best and their best was to Remain. In the early days of shock and fear, particularly articulated by the Prime Minister, I felt worried that his message was getting through
Not only did he spend nine million pounds of our money on a ‘dodgy dossier’ giving us ‘facts’ but he called in every major power in the world to tell us why we should stay in such an undemocratic body. But it didn’t work and on Thursday night as I watched the results coming in from the top of the Millbank Tower I felt vindicated.
I,and my colleagues in Labour Leave Labour had warned that in Labour areas particularly in the North East of England and East Midlands the mood was hardening and determination to get pay back was increasing. In some of the more deprived communities I heard from many former Labour voters and those about to ignore the Labour call for Remain how they had never been listened to. They told how they were fed up being ignored being labelled stupid or ignorant or racist. This was their chance to show politicians that they couldn’t be taken for granted anymore.
The disconnect between them and Westminster has never been more exposed.
Our country is now on a new journey but one which means we decide our own destiny.
I believe in the UK and the result of the referendum offers us an optimistic future as an independent country once again.
• Kate Hoey is MP for Vauxhall, and was chair of Labour Leave