7 April 2019

Lawrence Jones - Brexit

I am no coming home!

Yesterday I jokingly posted a photograph across social media saying that I’d landed in Switzerland and felt like staying here, leaving all of the Brexit nonsense behind.

Whilst that may have been a bit tongue in cheek, there’s no denying the frustrations with the current state that Britain is in. For three years our politicians have been distracted by Brexit, drawing attention away from healing our national health system, from improving our education system and from tackling spiralling violent crime. We have less police on the street and people in the public sector are vastly underpaid. Worse still there is no indication when we are going to start addressing these pressing issues.

It’s been three years of pandemonium.

Standing looking over the Swiss mountains, breathing in the fresh, crisps air, it is certainly a tempting prospect to move back over here and leave the politicians to it.

Chatting with tourists from all over Europe in the village, I don’t see what’s so bad about being partnered with Europe, to be honest. I understand that a huge part of the Leave vote centred on bureaucracy but won’t we still have to contend with that but now with each individual country? Our democracy is certainly not free from democracy, all countries have their problems.

Either way something needs to happen soon. I am fairly impartial now. I had been a Remain voter initially, but now I’d happily leave with No Deal just to put an end to all of this uncertainty. It is paralysing British business. How can business leaders be expected to make a decision about the future of their business when no one has any idea what’s around the next corner? Don’t get me wrong, I’d prefer to leave with an agreement in place, but at the end of the day if we have to go, let’s just get on with it. We will soon start negotiating with the various countries once it happens.

A People’s Vote?

Many people are calling for a people’s vote to choose what should happen once and for all. Theresa May herself said it comes down to two options: leave with a deal, or don’t leave, which is a big shift from earlier speeches. Should that decision be put to the general public to decide, to bring an end to the bickering in Parliament that is seemingly never ending! Probably when you consider our MP’s haven’t been able to agree anything recently. It’s a little like a Monty Python sketch.

A key argument for that vote is that neither side was armed with all of the facts for the initial referendum back in 2016. There was little information for the Remain side, and questions have since been raised about the Leave campaign’s tactics.

Guardian journalist Carole Cadwalladr is one of several journalists to report Vote Leave breaking the rules, some of which has been confirmed by the Electoral Commission. Surprisingly much of this has been reasonably buried in the national media.

So now, armed with what Leave would mean for Britain, and the impact of revoking Article 50, is the Prime Minister right that it comes down to these two choices and if so, surely it should be the public now who can make a clear decision on how the country should proceed?

A Simple Answer

There is certainly no simple answer. It’s never a case of just two options, there are always shades of grey, which is why we had so long to be able to work out the best route to leave the European Union to honour the referendum vote. Now that we find ourselves lost in the murk, so close to the deadline, going to the EU cap in hand to get extension after extension, perhaps we need a rethink.

Either way if we put it into perspective, whether we are in or out we are still going to remain British. Nothing is going to change the colour of our hills, the hundreds of accents that make up Great Britain, nor our penchant for gravy and pies. We are still British. And if I don’t come back, I will still be eating (dairy free) pastry in the mountains somewhere reminiscing about the good old days when we all just used to get on.

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