Bane of the Brexiteers - GulfToday

Bane of the Brexiteers

Michael Jansen

The author, a well-respected observer of Middle East affairs, has three books on the Arab-Israeli conflict.

The author, a well-respected observer of Middle East affairs, has three books on the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Gina-Miller

By adopting a leading role in the anti-Brexit camp, Gina Miller has become a target for racist as well as political abuse.

Gina Miller is a businesswoman who has won two Brexit-related legal cases against Britain’s government, altering strategies devised by the Conservative Party to achieve the country’s withdrawal from the European Union (EU). Her first triumph took place in September 2017, when the Supreme Court ruled that Parliament should have a role in launching the process of leaving the EU, thereby preventing former Prime Minister Theresa May from taking this step single-handedly without the approval of lawmakers. Miller’s intervention has delayed and seriously complicated Britain’s exit and, eventually, brought down May.

Miller was joined in the effort by other activists, including the People’s Challenge that was financed by crowd funding and raised $218,551 (Dhs802,705), to finance legal teams which raised the original case that the government appealed to the Supreme Court.

Miller’s second success came on Sep.25 this year when the Supreme Court ruled unlawful the decision of May’s successor, Boris Johnson, to suspend Parliament for five weeks to prevent Brexit debate. This was a humiliating defeat for Johnson because the court determined he had misled Queen Elizabeth when he advised her to suspend Parliament. The decision also set a precedent for denying prime ministers the right to shut down Parliament in order to push through their own agendas. Speaking after the court’s unanimous decision, Miller stated, “Today is not a win for any individual or cause, it’s a win for Parliamentary sovereignty, the separation of powers and the independence of our British courts.”

Her victories have, in these divisive and intemperate times, attracted abuse and elicited threats from hard line Brexiteers, forcing her to employ bodyguards. A threat was investigated last month by the police after a GoFundMe campaign was launched to raise $13,000 (Dhs47,747) to hire a hit man to kill Miller, although the posting was erased before any money was raised.

Miller responded by saying, “We need to heal our nation and my view is that the only way of doing that is to remember true British values of tolerance, decency, reason, civic duty, common sense and above all else, honesty and kindness.” These virtues appear to have been forgotten during the three-year Brexit campaign.

She contends her intention is not to obstruct Brexit but to ensure Parliament, which represents Britain’s citizens, should have control. While this motivates her, she admitted in a recent interview with the BBC that she opposes Brexit.

Her actions speak louder than words. During the 2017 general election campaign, she created a crowd funding campaign to back candidates opposed to “hard Brexit,” or leaving the EU without a deal, and called for a tactical vote to secure the election of members of Parliament who would vote against such an eventuality. She called on young people to cast their ballots and said she would abandon the Labour Party and vote Liberal Democrat, which opposes Brexit.

In 2018, Miller launched a website and campaign to end British anxiety over Brexit by creating a fact-checking website and staging a series of country-wide debates in a bid to, as she put it, “end the chaos.” Her intention is to provide a platform for municipalities, businesses and academics to publish studies ignored by the government on negative impacts of Brexit on the British economy, institutions and society. She warned that Britain could commit suicide via Brexit and said she hoped her website could ease tensions in the deeply divided country.

The website’s mission statement is: “Everyone has the right to make an informed choice, to review and ratify the real options, in real time. We believe this is the only way to clear away the confusion, draw a line under Brexit and get back to dealing with the issues facing our country. The only way to end the chaos.”

During the 2019 European Parliament election she established another website, “Remain United,” to encourage voters to support candidates who support remaining in the EU. She has earned the title “Bane of the Brexiteers.” This was coined by Foreign Policy which published an interview by her.

By adopting a leading role in the anti-Brexit camp, Gina Miller has become a target for racist as well as political abuse. She was born Gina Nadira Singh 54 years ago into an Indian family in British-ruled Guyana in South America. Indians, descended from indentured workers and settlers during British rule, comprise the largest community in Guyana, which is the only English-speaking country in South America. In her BBC interview she said her father, Doodnauth Singh, who became Attorney General of Guyana, drilled into her respect for and commitment to the “rule of law” which she seeks to uphold at this time of peril for Britain.

Miller was sent to Britain at the age of 10 to a fee-paying school in Eastbourne, but four years later, after Guyana introduced currency controls, she was obliged to work as a maid in a hotel to earn enough to fund her education. She began legal studies in London but was brutally attacked by fellow students, causing her to drop her degree course and return to Guyana. She later returned to Britain and earned degrees in marketing and human resource management at the University of London. She embarked on various business ventures before establishing an investment firm with her husband Alan Miller.

In 2012, she set up the True and Fair Foundation which calls for consumer protection and the adoption of ethnics in the care of pensioners. The Foundation encourages successful people to invest in their communities and increase giving in an era of “growing inequality, social fragmentation and reduced state funding.” The Foundation advises investors to adopt a “smarter,” and more efficient manner of giving to charities. Fair Foundation supports grassroots charities working with the most vulnerable members of society.

Miller and her husband have themselves given thousands of pounds to British charities. The couple are grand examples to the British and global business elites who generally put profit over decency and avoid commitment to the welfare of distressed communities.

 

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