It's now over two months since the referendum in which a majority of UK voters, Wales voters, Shropshire voters and Powys voters decided they wanted the UK to leave the European Union. It was a hard fought referendum. In retrospect, I think I was weak to take so little part in it. I might not have approved of the campaigns, but life is like that. Biggest battles are fought in the gutter. What has surprised me is how some of those who voted Remain refuse to accept the voice of the people. I'm still having earache for voting Leave by many of my friends. Had some more at a local function tonight. It makes no impact that if it was a clear result on a huge turn-out. The majority in favour of Leave was over a million votes. There are calls for another referendum (so that we could make the 'right' decision!). Or for a vote in Parliament to approve the terms (yet to be negotiated) on which the UK will leave. This is nothing more than a legalistic delaying tactic, dressed up in legalistic language. It seems some 'clever' lawyers reckon the referendum was 'advisory' only. Tell that to the people.
Dear 'A View from Rural a Wales' readers, it's not going to happen. It's time to get real. As our new Prime Minister, Theresa May has said again and again "Brexit means Brexit". This might be open to interpretation, but there will not be a re-run of the referendum, no matter how many petitions there are, or how many lawyers produce reports. The BBC's relentless pro-Remain bias will not succeed - except to damage the BBC and increase the level of discord. The unelected House of Lords will not be free to frustrate the will of the people. If they were to, it would quickly lead to a power-reducing reform of the Upper House. The voters of Britain have spoken and there voice will be respected. In any case, my view is that another vote would only deliver a bigger Leave majority, as the voters of the UK expressed their outrage at being misled.
Let's consider what has happened over the last two months, compared with the disasters that we were told were going to happen before the referendum. We were warned that the city would suffer a meltdown. But the FTSE has risen to near record levels. As has the FTSE 250. It's true that the value of Sterling has fallen, encouraged no doubt by Bank of England money creation. This has been a major boost to exporters, the tourism industry, and to my own industry of livestock farming. We were told there would be more unemployment, higher mortgages and big falls in house prices. Reality is that jobs have carried on being created - to record levels since we voted to leave. Businesses which threatened to leave the UK have decided to invest here after all. There has been no 'emergency budget'. The Governor of the Bank of England has been left with egg yoke all over his face. Consumer spending is going well, despite the best efforts of self-justifying 'remainers' to talk us into recession. The impact of a Leave vote has had nothing like the impact that was predicted. All this is really good news for the UK, and already we are seeing growth predictions being revised upwards.
But it's not time to celebrate yet. The UK will be a full member of the EU for another two/three years at least. International markets do not like uncertainty. During the next two years, we will need to establish new trading agreements across the world. We will need to have negotiated a new agreement with the EU. It will happen, but I do think it will be complex. There will be disappointments along the way. Perhaps most controversially, I do not think we will see net immigration numbers falling to the levels that some hope. Neither do I think our financial obligations to our neighbours will fall as some hope. But I remain entirely confident the British people took the right devision on June 23rd. They decided to 'Take Back Control' and I think they were absolutely right to do so.