Sunday, December 04, 2016

My personal Brexit wish list.

Hard to make much sense of some of the reporting about the UK leaving the EU. Most of it seems to be a mixture of untruths and make believe. I suppose there's so much media space to be filled, they have to write something. Anyway, just thought I'd add my personal perspective - what I want to see the eventual exit deal deliver.
Now I've no real idea what constitutes a Hard Brexit, a Soft Brexit or a Grey Brexit. No idea where on this spectrum (if it is a spectrum) I stand. Perhaps the reason I'm writing this quick blog post is that it will enable others to tell me where I stand !! Mostly, I think the media coverage is gibberish.
But should begin by setting out the fundamental position. The UK will be leaving the EU, and I would anticipate all involved in this divorce will want as amicable a settlement as possible in the interests of all parties. There are many who voted Remain still doing what they can to frustrate the voice of the people, as expressed in the referendum - while pretending they are not. Luckily we have a Prime Minister made of stern stuff, who is not going to be bullied and browbeaten by these anti-democrats.
Now to the detail of where negotiation may lead. And it's all guesswork of course. Until Article 50 is invoked in late March, we will know little to nothing about any negotiations. But we do have opinions as individuals, which informed how we voted on June 23rd. And I'm sharing mine.
There seem to be four main concerns that influenced our decisions about which way to vote. Only two of them really mattered to me, with one of those being 'the reason' I would always have voted Leave - leaving the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice. Without this, Britain is not really an independent country at all. Judges might sometimes make us cross, but I can live with that if they are British judges. Dealing with this unacceptable position (to me anyway) seems to feature in everything I hear and read about the Govt's position. Good. Everything else I am more relaxed about. But I am also enthusiastic about the UK being able to trade with any other country or region in the world. I can see that this is a complex and contentious area for debate. But it is important if the UK is to be a genuinely 'independent' state. And it makes good economic sense anyway.
The other two policy areas much discussed and that personally, I am not so fussed about - are immigration and financial contributions to the EU Budget - though I do accept these were probably the two reasons which Leave voters were most exercised about on June 23rd. On both areas, I thought our Foreign Secretary reflected my opinions on Marr this morning. Immigration is important to the UK, but it's currently at too high a level to be sustainable over the long term. The UK Govt should have control over this. But we must not become anti immigration and insular. And there's no reason why the UK should not continue to pay into the EU for something that is important to the UK, on the basis of value for money - a deal not a membership fee.
Not sure whether any of this would be controversial if Liam Fox, David Davis or our Foreign Secretary were to say it. It's not if I say it and it's just what I, a back bench Tory MP thinks. It's what I thought when I voted Leave. But I've no idea what sort of Brexit it is.

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