29 March, 2017. Today begins the formal exit of the UK from the EU.
Aside from the insanity of leaving the single market without a deal, which is a real possibility, even a solid option, at least according to UK’s prime minister Theresa May, plus the flagrancy with which the Leave campaign conducted itself – the hypocrisy, the lies, the lack of strategy surrounding the breakup of an alliance that has resulted in European peace for more than sixty years – we are forgetting one very important thing: the referendum and its Pandora’s Box power. It’s been opened, and there’s no closing it.
Forget for a moment the rambling nationalism and the populist agenda. Forget the Eurozone crisis that fed the divisions, or even the justified concerns of ordinary people with the EU’s increasingly Sovietized nature – its bloated bureaucracy, its rambling technocrats and their high-handed approach to politics – forget all that, and let’s focus on the referendum that (kick)started it all. It’s a game changer, and it will come back to haunt Europe in ways that will promote volatility and instability.
Big words, but not without merit.
The premise is simple. The people of Great Britain were asked their opinion on whether to Leave or Remain, and for whatever reason they voted Leave (they voted wrong, as far as I am concerned, though some of their concerns were valid). Many of these voters are now exhibiting remorse. Their choice to Leave was purely reactionary, designed to send a message to pro-EU elites in the UK and Europe that things were changing, but its effects were not thought through. You don’t just pack your bags and Leave. It’s not Fawlty Towers. It was never going to be that simple.
As time passes and the folly of leaving the single market sets in, and the pains of lower living standards begin to take hold, UK voters are realizing the density of their decision. The cruel reality of Leave is gradually setting in, and Leavers are feeling it. They know they made a mistake. They not only voted wrong, they did it for the wrong reasons. Some of their concerns were valid, yes, but they didn’t vote on them per se. Steered by lying Brexit politicians and their dubious agendas, they voted on bogus matters. They could have voted against the EU’s technocracy, for example, its burdensome, overcentralized nature, but they chose to vote on immigration instead, and on redirecting bogus money to the NHS, and on not having an EU commission tell them whether a banana is too bent, a cucumber too short, or their Jaffa cake a biscuit after all.
They voted on horseshit, is what the problem is.
Whatever the arguments for or against the EU, the choice for the UK to exit the EU was clearly not a matter of immigration. Point number one. Immigration will continue even if the UK somersaults out of the EU in a napalm-drenched spandex costume set on fire. Immigration will go on, end of story, and so will the heavyhanded political decision-making from technocratic, compromised politicians on behalf of interests often removed from public interest. Technology, it’s too intermeshed to be totally stripped down, as is trade. It’s the nature of politics and economics, non-ideal, yet idealistic, serving grand interests on the backdrop of big causes and fancy words. Leaving the EU will not change any of that. UK voters have merely traded one body of elites for another. Bar an outright revolution that burns the establishment to the ground, nothing will change, not in terms of the ordinary citizen becoming better off by a significant degree.
In other words, Leaving the EU is not going to change things for the better in terms of the average UK voter, especially after it’s been carried out on a basis of lies surrounding immigration and other ‘sovereignty’ issues (hardly a good start, to base a massive transition on a blatant lie), and it’s certainly not going to happen without a firm and serious plan in place, which the UK administration has time and time again admitted not to possess.
In addition, and here’s the problem no one’s paying attention to: the decision to Leave should never have been made by the general public – a public unversed in the ins and outs of politics. A voting body not experienced in matters of direct democracy.
Let’s not forget to mention the way in which the matter was presented to UK voters, the ridiculously simple manner in which the question was asked. Remain or Leave. As if they were being asked to decide on today’s grocery list. Chicken or Vegetables? Coffee or Tea? Remain or Leave? Just like that, asked to make a choice that would affect generations, all in the tick of a box.
From your severely unimpressed Spin Doctor,
Eyes open, mind sharp.