The Rights And Wrongs Of Brexit
In most of the conversations I have had since the referendum result I have learned that very few people have shifted their opinion.
Those who voted “Leave” feel strongly that we should indeed leave the EU, (whatever the consequences)..end of… no more discussion… just do it… and are somewhat surprised and puzzled that it is apparently taking so long.
On the other hand, those that voted “Remain” would mostly like to see an exit from Brexit and think that we are making the biggest mistake ever.
The politicians on either side of the debate are accusing one another of dishonesty.
The Leave brigade say that we had the vote, that settled matters and it would threaten our very democracy if the people’s wishes aren’t carried out.
However, those on the Remain side point out that what sort of relationship we have with the EU, post-Brexit, was not determined by a yes / no vote and that the leave camp are taking liberties by supporting the hardest possible Brexit, even a “No Deal” outcome that would never get public support.
Both camps are accusing the other of introducing “Project Fear”.
Those that say we should leave often say there will be civil disorder and even riots on the street if we don’t leave the EU in the way they think it should be done.
By the same token, remain politicians are accused of talking up the negative consequences of leaving, the damage to the economy, job losses, increased food prices and a hundred other things.
One does have to have a degree of sympathy with Mrs May.
She got the job because Mr Cameron promised a referendum and found himself in the 48% camp.
Mrs May herself was a remainer but hadn’t nailed her colours to the mast in quite the same way.
It was expected that she would aim for a soft Brexit with minimal impact but is finding that the EU is pretty much united when it comes to confining priviliges to members of the club alone.
So we now see Mrs May getting chummy with politicians in Africa and elsewhere in the hope of limiting the damage by increasing trade elsewhere.
It’s all of a bit of an undignified scramble in much the same way as President Trump was afforded a red carpet visit, which wasn’t a State visit because it would have caused widespread public disorder.
Our fishing fleets are skirmishing with the French.
Very soon, we won’t have a seat around the table at the EU.
There are plans in plans to stockpile non-perishable food and medicines.
Goodness knows how things will pan out at Dover if new customs checks are brought in.
There is still the Irish border question to resolve and how we can keep to the terms of the Good Friday agreement.
An easy answer to all this does not exist.
You just have to hope that everyone will recognise the value of compromise.
Perhaps one example will be a “People’s Vote” on any deal that is thrashed out, or even an option not to go through with leaving if it becomes clear that no deal is the default.
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It was a most remarkable day at Hampshire County Council today. As Leader of the Liberal Democrat Opposition group, I led the charge against the proposed closure of the Orchard Close Care Home, in Hayling Island.