Short changing the British people over Brexit

It is becoming an increasing concern that the British people are being short-changed over Brexit  – by Mrs May, the Department for (not) Exiting the European Union (EU), the government generally, and Parliament. The final Brexit settlement with the EU should correspond in large part to addressing the significant wishes, hopes and fears of the electorate as expressed in the Referendum vote. Are there important pieces of pieces of information which we not being told that we really should know?  What will be the political consequences if and when we find out the hard way that our leaders are misleading and cheating us?

The vote to leave the EU was a cry for a change of direction. In particular, it was an expression of the desire to leave the EU, which is evolving into a centralised homogeneous superstate. It was certainly not for “politics as usual”  – the status quo whereby an out of touch ruling establishment in Westminster and Brussels would continue to conceal the truth, using fear to manipulate people and doing what it wanted to whilst ignoring the wishes of the Electorate.  Ultimately, the Brexit vote was about ‘the sovereignty of the People’ and their right to governed by consent – in other words, government of the people, by the people, for the people.  Brexit, therefore, needs to be a complete change of political direction, not leaving us stuck in the political EU (aka Greater Germany) under a different name, all the time aided and abetted by a deceptive Westminster clique.

If we had voted to remain in the EU, whatever the reasoning of individual voters, we would have been forced to accept not only the current status quo but also of the EU’s direction of travel.   Remain voters were effectively putting their trust in the ruling establishment in both Westminster and Brussels. Any Brexit settlement outside remain voters’ ‘comfort zone’ of EU membership therefore needs to provide something like the same measure of reassurance and must address, wherever practicable, their real concerns.

Whilst it would appear the objectives of Leave and Remain voters are completely different, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they cannot, or should not, be reconciled in the resulting Brexit settlement.  To ignore the minority who voted Remain is tantamount to  a dictatorship of the majority and very un-British.  It is also quite likely that the economic fears of Remain voters are also shared to some extent by Leave voters, whilst many Remain voters share the Leave voters’ disillusionment with, and distrust of, the ruling élite and share their concerns about uncontrolled immigration and open borders. Political independence from the EU whilst maintaining close trading arrangements (such as through the Single Market) and co-operation should be achievable if Mrs May and Mr Davis understood how the EU thinks and works, following the example set by other prosperous European nations which are not in the EU.

The political establishment and main stream media are not presenting us with anything like the full picture on leaving the EU. In turn, the resulting distortion is creating misconceptions about what can and cannot be achieved.  Firstly, if we re-join EFTA (the European Free Trade Association) we can remain in the Single Market (more accurately the European Economic Area, EEA) under different, much more flexible or bespoke conditions including allowing us to control immigration (by unilaterally invoking Article 112, the Safeguard Measures) in the EEA Agreement and leave the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice.  Secondly, the acquis (or body of law) of the EEA is about a quarter of the total EU acquis and is relevant to the facilitation of seamless trade, rather than the furtherance of a political project.  Thirdly, about 80% of the EEA acquis originates outside the EU, to facilitate more global trade, so we would (probably) need to comply with it anyway.  Fourthly, ‘all singing, all dancing’ Free Trade agreements (FTAs) take several years to negotiate and don’t provide seamless trade.  Fifthly, the EU is unlikely to agree to an advantageous FTA because it is not in the interests of their centralising control-freak political agenda. Sixthly, outside the EEA we will be a ‘third country’ subject to vastly increased difficulties while trading with the protectionist EU through tariffs and non-tariff barriers including regulation, approvals and surveillance.

Mrs May and Mr Davis’s Transitional Deal and overall handling of Brexit so far has the potential to lead to widespread dissatisfaction and disillusionment on both the Leave and Remain sides.  For the leaver, there is dissatisfaction that Brexit under the current plan will not be a clean break on 29th March 2019, but will begin a period of costly servitude to the EU, effectively a vassal state, which will last for at least 21 months and quite possibly even longer. In other words, it will be an indefinite Brexit in name only. For the concerned remainer who is not an ideological europhile but motivated primarily by worries over the economy, the limited duration of the proposed transitional period may result in either an unsatisfactory Free Trade agreement or else an extension of the transitional deal with the resulting uncertainty this would cause. Businesses share these concerns and at the moment have not been given any clear idea of the potential barriers to seamless trade with the EU that will occur whether or not there is an FTA.

Since the Referendum, the disillusionment with the ruling establishment has continued. It is not a problem peculiar to the UK or engendered by Brexit as there have been similar trends within the EU and in the United States.  Often decried as ‘populism’, it is a visible rejection of mainstream parties, the political status quo and its direction of travel. Our electoral system does not make it easy for new parties to make a breakthrough, but it cannot ultimately prevent radical change if dissatisfaction grows sufficiently. Given the trend amongst the ruling class to respond to their obvious unpopularity by becoming more insular and arrogant, we could see even greater political instability.

The Brexit dividend, which offered an opportunity for our country to reinvigorate freedom, enterprise, democracy and our world-leading traditional strengths for the benefit of all is being wasted. A period of unpredictability on the political front is looking increasingly likely given that it will not be long before the British people conclude en masse that the main problem, which is making their lives and those of their children potentially worse, is the ruling class.

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7 comments

  1. StevenReply

    We want to severely curtail immigration and basically all forms of unskilled immigration whether from the EU or non-EU countries must cease immediately. This country has had far too much immigration over recent decades so much so infact that vast swathes of the land are ultimately now alien places. Although this arrangement called Article 112 sounds fairly attractive and might be a way of squaring the circle I have a doubt whether the EU will allow a large country like Britain to do it like it allows Liechtenstein to do because it may prompt other countries to leave the EU as well and seek a similar arrangement thus weakening the political project of the EU even further.

    Let’s hope more of the British people DO belatedly wake-up and realise the MAIN SOURCE of our country’s problems is that smug and self-satisfied political Establishment at Westminster with their obsession with economic globalism and the social globalism of mass immigration. Brussels was always just an add-on to that. We have to remember that Britain was moving in the wrong direction long before we ever joined the Common Market. You can trace it back decades now to the late 1930’s or even earlier. In my opinion, the unfortunately naive but essentially reasonable/humane and pro-British Neville Chamberlain or Stanley Baldwin seem to have been the last half-way decent British PMs.

    Our political Establishment also KNOW they are the cause of the country’s problems which is why they so jealously guard the profoundly undemocratic joke called First Past The Post. When even a very mild party like UKIP can gain 15% of the vote and not gain more than ONE MP at a general election the public should know that ‘democracy’ British-style is fundamentally rigged against them.

    https://www.electoral-reform.org.uk

    https://www.makevotesmatter.org.uk

    https://twitter.com/MakeVotesMatter

  2. Adam HileyReply

    I want Britain to have no involvement with the European System whatsoever except Trade & Friendship with the real Europe not the officious buffoons of Brussels

  3. Phil JonesReply

    I agree totally with Adam and Steven. As Steven says, “the MAIN SOURCE of our country’s problems is that smug and self-satisfied political Establishment at Westminster with their obsession with economic globalism and the social globalism of mass immigration”. Big Business with its need for cheap labour to maximize profit has been driving worldwide migration. The EU was just another step on the route to destroying borders and maximizing profits for the few. Economic globalism has left devastation in its path. You see that even more in N. America than in Europe, so much so that I now refer to the Western World as the New Third World. When I was young half a century ago I remember reading that every parent in India wanted their son/daughter to get a job in the Indian public service. Relentlessly the parents forced their children to study, and courses abounded for students to excel on the Indian Civil Service exams. Now, a half century later, I see that same mentality in Canada and the US and the UK. So few decent well-paying jobs remain on the private side that many in the Western World are clutching for the stable salaries and pensions of civil service jobs. Immigration into the UK was a big factor in Brexit and I believe that immigration would be a big factor in elections in other Western nations — if the people were given a clear choice on the matter. Fortunately we got that choice on 23 June 2016 and once Brexit is finished will have back full control of UK borders. Then I would like to see a points system implemented similar to that in Australia and Canada where immigration is strictly limited to those who have basic English language ability and professional or other skills that will allow them to fit well into the UK. Those without skills who Big Business would love to come in for paying cheap wages and maximizing profit only would be barred. Australia and Canada are already immigration in this way, and Donald Trump is considering a similar scheme. for revamping United States’ immigration.

  4. Gordon WebsterReply

    O’ what tangled web we weave, when we first practice to deceive.” The problem with compulsive liars, is that they reach a crossover point, where they begin to believe their own lies and believe in their own omnipotence. British politics has reached that point. We used to say about mental illness, that neurotics built castle in the air, while psychotics lived in them. Or, as Socrates explained, two and a half thousand years ago, in “The Allegory of The Cave,” some people are happy in their cave, believing in shadows, and scared of the light and freedom.
    The problem is, that the people of Britain have woken up to those lies, and the anger on social media is growing. People are not just angry, they are frightened. They see Brussels as the cause of a mass immigration of people who hate them, and mean them harm., and who are protected by laws which people see as against them.
    Now, whether the people are right or wrong, unless their fears are faced openly, instead of being beaten down by the stick of unfair laws – St Thomas Aquinas I think it was said “a bad law is no law.” I genuinely fear for this country, unless the people of Britain feel respected, and not abandoned by their own elected employees.
    There is a simple emotional chain reaction which must not be ignored, and that is, the feeling of abandonment leads to Protest, Despair and Denial. If those emotions are not dealt with, then comes Transference to another emotional Crutch or Parent Figure. It is then that a vulnerable person is open to radicalisation, which can lead to Anger, Aggression, and Violence. The British People feel abandoned, and second class citizens in their own country. Having nowhere to go, they feel their backs are to the wall. They now talk on SM of a new Churchill or Cromwell even. All it needs is, as Le Bon pointed out in “Psychology of Revolution,” is some silver tongue to whip them up, and fan the flames. Then God help us, because Westminster is impotent.

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