Twitter users have swiftly corrected a Brexiteer who claimed the EU was made up of unelected bureaucrats during an appearance on BBC Question Time.
talkRADIO presenter Julia Hartley-Brewer sparked controversy on Thursday after claiming the EU was an unelected body dictating policy upon Britain.
She said: “I voted for Brexit because I want the people in charge of my country to be democratically accountable to me and everyone else here.
“I voted for Brexit because we are a proud nation-state and I don’t want other people to have a say in how we run our business.
“Once you have that principle, which is why most people voted for Brexit, then the difficulties ahead of getting a Brexit deal, given what the EU are offering, become very clear and very difficult to surmount.”
She continued: “These are all fundamental principles and if the EU is demanding we give up on those fundamental principles then I’m afraid a deal will not be done and if there’s a cost to that, then so be it.
“It’s not my ideal, but if that is the case, then I’d rather stick with the principles that we are an independent nation-state and we should be treated like that and not as a naughty school child that needs to be punished.”
Social media users were quick to dispel her claims.
Scientists for EU co-founder Mike Galsworthy said: “Norway, Switzerland, etc. are very happy to follow EU rules with no say. They just recognise that when 27 European countries agree on rules, they’re usually pretty good – and EFTA countries can just piggy-back along. Sweet.”
Political commentator Otto English wrote: “All this demonstrates is that Julia doesn’t understand sovereignty, pooled sovereignty, trade, the EU, how nations work, how the UK works and democracy itself. Amazing someone can fit all of that into just a few short seconds.”
All this demonstrates is that Julia doesn't understand sovereignty, pooled sovereignty, trade, the EU, how nations work, how the UK works and democracy itself. Amazing someone can fit all of that into just a few short seconds.
— Otto English (@Otto_English) December 11, 2020
Another posted: “@JuliaHB1 the problem with your argument is it’s just wrong. The UK parliament was the final say for all 40 years we were EU members. We elected our MEPs and the real power in the Council of Ministers were our elected senior politicians…”
@JuliaHB1 the problem with your arguement is its just wrong. The UK Parliament was the final say for all 40 years we were EU members. We elected our MEPs and the real power in the Council of Ministers were our elected senior politians..
— Andrew Gate (@amgate67) December 10, 2020
@philleehh added: “This is getting tedious but: The EU Council consists of the elected leaders of the EU member states. The EU parliament is elected by voters in the member states. The EU does not have an unelected house of lords or an unelected monarch.”
Dr Megan Smith shared: “They were already @JuliaHB1. All elected democratically by the population of each member state. I don’t understand how it could be more democratic. It certainly won’t be with a PM who seeks to prorogue parliament to avoid scrutiny and democracy.”
Hartley-Brewer did have some supporters. One user posted: “It doesn’t benefit anyone not acing a deal, however we cannot be held to ransom and must stand firm on issues of sovereignty or what was the point. A good negotiator knows when to walk away.”
Another added: “Here here. Regardless of how you voted, democratically we collectively voted to become an independent sovereign state again.”