There are now serious concerns that (as William Keegan wrote in the Guardian) ‘Brexit is the villain in accidental death of the economy’. And we now know that key political players – such as Nigel Farage, who now says (despite the economic forecast material being available in 2016), that Brexit has “failed” and economy “has not benefited” – had non- patriotic reasons for the advocating leaving the European Union. Yet the latest YouGov poll reveals that only 46% of Britons say there should be another EU referendum in the next ten years.
Another ten years?
I shall never comprehend why people, having tangible evidence that Brexit was a monstrously bad idea (see the Davis Downside Dossier for a list), would ever contemplate waiting ten years for politicians to do their duty – to work for the interests of the UK and their own constituents, over their own interests (including financial interests aka lining their own pockets) and their political party.
Do we Brits really need more of what’s happened over the past seven years – since the EU referendum – to decide we will join the largest economic bloc to see the UK thrive? Would we really prefer to wait ten years? Do we enjoy moaning so much that we would prefer to moan about the weather and Brexit for another decade? Or would we prefer to have a better economy and more opportunities as soon as possible?
The European Union referendum
There should always have been two votes (one to decide if UK voters wanted to explore leaving and a vote when we knew what the deal was). Jacob Rees-Mogg now confirms this, admitting that if the public made an ‘informed decision’ now, a further referendum would ‘overturn’ the original Brexit vote. The EU referendum was only ever ‘advisory’ and selling it as the ‘will of the people’ was misleading as well as deeply flawed politically.
Furthermore, how can a country that professes to be democratic, permit a decision to impact the UK so significantly when it was known that Russia interfered with the referendum and effectively bought Brexit? It may be concluded that it was convenient for certain politicians to pretend that there was no such event, or limit the remit of the Russia Report, particularly when parties and money were arguably at risk.
The reality is that both the Conservative and Labour parties have committed themselves to an act of lunacy by backing Brexit – an act that was predicted to damage the UK economy – and are consistently failing to listen to the voters they are meant to represent. The polling now clearly shows that the people regret Brexit. While some MPs from both parties advocated against Brexit, even Boris Johnson and Theresa May – despite their later backtracking – the parties fell for the promise of what could possibly be, rather than facts, as the average voter did.
Experiencing the impact of Brexit
The most shameful part for me is that children growing up in the UK will not be on an equal footing and will not be afforded the same opportunities I had when I was a teenager; which is regressive. While it has always been the case that certain private schools presented more privilege for some families, children had the same opportunities regardless of background to travel, study and work throughout the EU while we were members, something that poorer children have now been robbed of.
None of us are on an equal footing with the rich backers of Brexit; anyone who does not qualify for the relevant visas has fewer opportunities than previously. Small business, musicians, the UK fishing industry, have all felt the negative impact of Brexit despite the empty promises from our nation’s politicians.
Whatever any of us thought, it is clear we were better in than out. The analogy frequently made was membership to a club. I prefer to compare it to the gym. Some people love it, some people abide it, some hate it, but we all know it improves our health. Meanwhile, it appears we are reverting to the ‘poor man of Europe’ role with sewage pollution increasing, and our global reach decreasing, while businesses are desperate for staff and our food is getting more expensive.
We deserve better
After years of chaos caused by Tories and facilitated by Labour, the people deserve better; they deserve a say without being lied to, mislead or pushed into accepting an ideology. Voters also deserve proportional representation so we can vote for the politicians we want, rather than having to vote tactically or accept the lesser of two evils.
The polls consistently show that if given a chance voters would most likely vote to rejoin the EU. That is assuming the EU would accept us. Every act by the government takes us one step further away from the EU and closer to being viewed in the same negative light as Turkey. The government’s obsession with removing our rights under ECHR and its inability to respect international law is plunging the UK into long-term turmoil.
Within ten years is not acceptable
The government has a duty to act in the best interests of the UK and that is joining the EU (or at least being part of the single market and customs union to reduce economic harm), whether one frames it as ‘rejoin’ and whether or not we have another referendum. Waiting – game playing – is not acceptable because while politicians are funded through the public purse and have relatively little to lose, it’s the average person who is now paying for the mistakes those politicians have made.