THIS NEWSPAPER made a promise to its readers more than three years ago that no favour would be given to either the remain nor the leave cause ahead of the referendum afforded to the British public regarding membership of the European Union on 23rd June, 2016.
The Yorkshire Post’s editorial policy on this matter was entirely consistent in the run-up to that vote: it shall not tell its readers what to think. They are not for patronising. It will, we determined, make people think by presenting all sides of the debate, as well as doing our damnedest to find, check and present facts - scarce though they were - on both sides so as not to influence in anyway the democratic process.
In the intervening three years this newspaper has continued to allow all persuasions their say on Brexit, striving for balance as much as seeking facts. Shining a light on the nuances of leaving and remaining in equal measure in an attempt to cut through the toxicity of some of the language and behaviour.
Scroll forwards from the moment 17.4m people rocked the Establishment, when they tipped the balance in favour of leaving the European Union, and pause for a moment at the spectacle of the British Prime Minister, on the world stage, breaking down in tears on the steps of Downing Street, hounded out of office because of her plan, by a baying mob that has consistently shown it has none.
Heaven only knows what the counterparts of the United Kingdom and her allies around the world were thinking yesterday as Theresa May, overcome with emotion, bid farewell to her premiership through her trembling lips by declaring her love for the country she feels so proud to serve.
They could be forgiven for coming to the conclusion that the power-obsessed lunatics have finally taken over the Westminster asylum. The question on their lips, and more pertinently the lips of the British electorate, will now be; who will be in charge of the keys?
For there is no doubt that Mrs May gave her absolute all in trying to deliver the will of the people, as the result of the referendum has come to be uttered. Brexit for her did mean Brexit and no one should be in any doubt that at all times she did sincerely act in the national interest as she tried repeatedly to conquer the nemesis – Europe – to which so many of her predecessors have succumbed.
It is true that few will spend any time articulating her legacy, try though she did yesterday standing at a lectern drenched in sunshine, offering out policy morsels to anyone who might accept them.
What is important, now, is that this country is handed a leader who can match Mrs May’s affection for the nation whilst exceeding her credentials as a statesman charged with negotiating that which could well turn out to be the single most important deal in British history.
The question is, who stands ready replete with the requisite intellect and acumen to navigate their way through the legalese of the withdrawal agreement, coupled with the charm and charisma required to take people with them?
More than that, faced with a nation at odds with one another over the question of Europe and at its wits’ end with politicians of all persuasions, who is there that we can trust to act in the best interests of this country, and not in the interests of themselves?