The only way out of this mess is another referendumby Gina Miller / October 31, 2018 / Leave a comment
I am not a Remainer and I am not a Leaver—the terms are only of historic interest these days, much like Roundhead and Cavalier—but I am a practical, pragmatic person, not aligned to any political party. That means I have, right from the outset, had a problem with the way the government is handling Brexit.
What mystifies me about Brexit is that so few people—particularly in Westminster—have been able to approach it analytically, even rationally. With very little cost benefit analysis, or any modelling that would sensibly use the existing relationship as the benchmark, as any competent business person would normally require before contemplating such a momentous step.
Hard truths are dismissed as Project Fear but they are Project Fact. I can’t see how Brexit is going to be anything other than disastrous for the United Kingdom. There is no way anyone can “make a success of it.” There is no such thing as a “jobs first Brexit.” A soft Brexit has something in common with a hard Brexit: it’s not going to be good news for anyone, except maybe a few hedge fund managers who have betted on the value of the pound falling still further.
I accept absolutely that anyone going into a period of negotiation should be permitted a relatively free hand to achieve the best possible deal. Theresa May and her team have largely been allowed that. After all this time, the Chequers plan she has come up with is clearly not going to be in the best interests of the country. Nothing that any of those vying for her job have come up with offers a viable alternative. All of the proposals are a downgrade of what we currently have. So many are eager to knock down the wall as it were, but have no realistic, fiscally responsible plan for rebuilding it.
We have allowed our hearts to rule our heads when it comes to Brexit. I set up www.endthechaos.co.uk—funded with the help of the public—to try and reverse that. Brexit will harm ordinary people, the mum trying to get food on the table for her kids, the Type 1 diabetic concerned about his or her insulin supply, the family planning to fly abroad…
The more I have inquired into Brexit, the more horrifying I find it. As things stand, the United Kingdom looks as if it is about to become a laboratory for a far right ideology. The consequences for the country in terms of its social fabric are chilling. The fact is we don’t have to do this. Even now, it is not too late to allow our heads to rule our hearts and listen to the expertise.
Opinion poll after opinion poll now shows widespread public despair about the negotiations. Obsessive Leavers—just as much as obsessive Remainers—are parroting the same old confrontational soundbites but the people who were undecided at the time of the EU referendum are now clear about where their country’s best interests lie. They can’t be brought off with a shiny new Brexit 50p piece emblazoned with the head of a unicorn and minted in genuine fool’s gold.
When our politicians are failing us in the way that they are now, when the country appears to be the last of their concerns—when their allegiance to their parties matters more than anything else—there is only one sensible option left. And that is for the politicians to go back to the people they serve and ask for further instructions. A vote on the final options—with an option to remain in the EU—is now the only way to extract ourselves from what the Tory MP Johnny Mercer called, with some under-statement, a “s*** show.”