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Brexit - let's stop this farce now!

Posted by Frank Preiss, on 15 October 2018. Comments: 1

Everyone knows there is no conceivable version of Brexit that can be better for the British people than we have had till now as members of the EU, for all its faults.

Mrs May must know in her heart of hearts that there is no 'good deal' that could unite our fractured country, or, probably, hold together the United Kingdom.

A lot of damage has already been done. The mere fear of Brexit has weakened the Pound, raising the cost of all our imports and reducing the UK from top to bottom of the larger economies' growth league. Slower growth means the Chancellor has substantially less to spend on his real priorities. To keep the mendacious promises of £350 million per week for the NHS and the 'end of austerity' he must increase borrowing again, even if he reneges on our existing obligations, as some Brexiteers are again shamefully proposing.

David Davis and Liam Fox promise us wonderful trade deals after Brexit, but they don't say - probably don't know - what concessions we will have to make to get them. And they won't be around to deliver them.

The fact is that on our own we will have no more negotiating power with the US - one of the Brexiteers' top targets - than Mexico and Canada have had in the new deal to replace NAFTA. The same goes for India, China and Japan.

As members of the EU we are already party to more than 60 good trade deals, many of which we simply haven't pursued as have Germany, France and Italy. After Brexit we would have to re-negotiate all these, a huge task even if some could be short-circuited.

What Mrs May must also know is that British politicians have for too long let the EU take the blame for our own failings. We are in this mess because for 30 years a quite small cabal of populist politicians have tried to talk us into a backward-looking, reactionary view of Britain that is totally out of kilter with the modern world.

Meanwhile the British economy has become so over-dependent on finance that much of our depleted industry is owned and managed by foreign companies and some undemocratic countries. London has become the world's largest money-laundering centre. The EU did not cause this: quite the opposite. It uses its considerable economic power to resist the worst features of globalisation and resolve conflicts in a way Britain alone never could.

It is simply untrue to say both sides knew what they were voting for in 2016. Remainers knew much more: we already had it. Leavers could only make unsubstantiated promises. They owed us a grown-up and credible vision of our future after Brexit - but they don't have one. 'Control' was and is a meaningless concept. Put aside the question: control by whom? Just consider how the key plank in their case - 'control of immigration' - is dissolving into a thousand different viewpoints as reality has struck for farmers, hotels, the construction industry, the NHS...

There is no majority yet for another referendum. However, opinion is changing as the likely outcome of Brexit becomes clearere and the politicians continue to fail us. Let's remember: it would be the third, not the second. The first was in 1975. We debated the issues properly then and after a sceptical start to the campaign the eventual majority was 67-33 for staying in the EU.

The referendum in 2016 may have been democratic, but it was decided on a majority of only 52/48. If we must have another one rhe result cannot be allowed to commit the government without at least a 60/40 majority either way. Nothing less can begin to heal the bitterness and conflict the Brexiteers have aroused.

Much, much better to reflect on all the good reasons we had 40 years ago for joining and staying in the EU, and stop the farce now.

 

Your Comments

1. At 11:13 on Tuesday 23rd of October 2018, Ballington commented...

Excellent blog, as one who has spent the last two years campaigning against Brexit you have sued it up nicely. Thank you. May I post this on social media?

Frank Preiss replied: Thank you! Yes, please post it whever you can.

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