Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Let’s accept the people’s vote and get Brexit done

Really sorry to blog about Brexit again. But have just had a conversation with someone who thinks the Prime Minister should simply say “Brexit is too difficult, and I’m going to inform Juncker and Barnier that it’s off, and want to end our negotiations to leave”. Ok, the wording wasn’t exactly this and of course, it’s not going to happen, but I was well taken aback because it was a normally sensible person who suggested it. I think in all seriousness.
I just asked if this proposal had been thought through. Well over 500 MPs had voted to hold a referendum. 17.4 million voters had backed Leave, the biggest vote for anything in British history. Another massive majority had voted in favour of invoking Article 50. What would public reaction be if this was all ignored by our Government. I’m not sure I’m capable of imagining just how awful it would be.
I told my friend that he would be of more value to society if he rambled naked around Britain whistling in the wind. Its not going to happen. The UK will be leaving the European Union. But how we Leave is another matter. There could be anything up to 17.4 million variations on this. It could be amicable, working out what is best for both sides. Or it could be No Deal, when both sides would have to pursue their own material interests. I prefer the first option. I also told my friend that his approach was the only reason we might end up with the second. As usual with this issue, he resorted to high dudgeon and flounced off!
I read so much utter tosh on this subject. The 24 hours news agenda has a lot to answer for. So much space to fill. I don’t really take that much notice though. We pay whatever we owe as a divorce settlement. We inform EU migrants, legally present in the UK, that they are valued permanent members of our society. We strive for a trade deal that suits both sides. We commit to security, climate change and other agreements that matter to both sides. As long as we are not subject to rulings of the ECJ, I’m fairly relaxed. I know there will be many who won’t be, but my guess is they will be a minority. And I’m not sure they have anywhere to go, without losing Brexit completely. And no doubt it will all look different tomorrow!

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