Thursday, July 05, 2018

Don’t blame Theresa May - Delivering Brexit would defy any democratic politician

Theresa May’s Government looks unlikely to survive and her political career will end in abject failure. But in a way it’s wrong to blame her for this. True she’s brought the igmony on herself with her facile “Brexit means Brexit” sloganising and her equally simplistic “Will of the People” mantra. But could any other politician have done any better? It’s highly unlikely. At the highest level of abstraction the problem is that Brexit makes no sense.  

Brexit’s advocates were, and are, at best xenophobic charlatans and at worst racist idiots. The second group, effective though they were, we can safely now ignore. For a brief but hugely damaging period in our nation’s history Nigel Farage and his gruesome bunch of supporters and fellow travellers held sufficient sway to influence the EU Referendum outcome. Much as we may regret it the truth is these bastards won. But they have largely disappeared and their pathetic parody of a political party, UKIP, has faded away. But the xenophobic charlatans are still with us dominating not just the Conservative Party and the Cabinet but the leadership of the Labour Party as well.

Brexit is an isolationist and English nationalist proposition based on the idea, once so perfectly parodied by Flanders and Swann, that “The English are Best”.  This is what  “Sovereignty” means. The charlatans argue that it matters more where a decision is taken than whether it is the right decision. So Brussels bad, Westminster good. But as Westminster (both Houses of Parliament) has been doing its job (being traitorous in Brexit speak) then the proposition has changed. Now Sovereignty seems to mean giving the Prime Minister Carte Blanche to do what she likes. It’s not just  those of us opposed to Brexit who don’t accept that.

Brexit is unachievable in anything like the foreseeable future because of its complexity.  Of course Britain can leave the European Union. But to unravel forty years of trading arrangements, regulations, laws and legal processes, Customs deals etc. etc. would take maybe a decade or more. And increasingly it is becoming obvious, if it wasn’t before, that to undertake this would be utterly pointless. Certainly to try and do it just because our so-called “Sovereignty” would be marginally enhanced would be insane. The maddest ever example of a nation cutting off its nose to spite its face.

The truth is that the sovereignty of the 28 EU members is largely unaffected by EU membership and the benefits of the pooled Sovereignty we all have  as members far exceeds any marginal loss of control of our own affairs. This fact was poorly explained in the Referendum and is little understood today. We need urgently to pause and reconsider what is in the national interest. It’s not too late. And it’s essential.


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