A few days ago by complete coincidence I had a mature political exchange with some BREXITEERS on LinkedIn; I am as you know by the now a Remainder at heart as the new name used online; that’s an interesting twist from the original term Remainer. That said I certainly hope that as a result of BREXIT the UK (or what could be left of it) would not become the Remainder of an empire that once was but now struggling to pick up the left overs of influence from Economic/Political powers worldwide. Anyway this mini-exchange was quite interesting to me giving me a chance to understand not just the different arguments for BREXIT but the approach/tone between the lines in making them. This particular exchange made me make a conscious decision to dedicate more time to uncover the true/unfiltered view on how we got to BREXIT and the potential ramification likely to come out of this nugget that has divided too many people for far too long and by the looks of things for quite the wrong reasons and likely to cause dramatic damage to a proud nation. So this post is merely responding to the arguments made and adding my comments while knowing full well it’s unlikely to change minds. So here goes;
- UK Quicker to Introduce the Vaccine before the EU is Proof the UK is Better Off Out of the EU: By definition a bureaucracy is always likely to be slower in responding to events. On the other hand expediency can also have it’s own problems like the current situation where NHS leaders raised concerns over pace of Covid vaccine rollout. In other words expediency is a double-edged sword but the current so-called government after the mess they’ve made in dealing the with the pandemic and the endless U-turns related to lockdowns – hence the term I like to use nowadays UGOV – are keen to cut corners particularly when at the gates of BREXIT. So my response would be that its a very low bar to set to have the vaccine rollout as a sign of success for BREXIT but that as we all know is the BREXIT philosophy – take anything that sounds good and leave everything else and if anybody asks just say you lost it.
- The Proof of the Pudding is in the Eating – we have yet to even get a sniff of it (“it” being BREXIT): In a way I get this argument quite well; in other words give us a chance to EXIT before crying BREXIT. (here’s a banner I am sure someone will pick up on – just remember where you read it first 🙂) At another level though I totally disagree. BREXIT is NOT just happening but has been happening for years, particularly the last 2 and you can certainly make a valid assessment when you looking at some of the stark developments like say;
- The UK government’s Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) forecast that, with a deal, Britain would see a loss of output of around 4% over 15 years compared to remaining in the EU
- Brexit Job Loss Index: 436,296 Jobs Lost As Of 31 January 2020 and that’s just talking small business. Add to that job losses in the financial sector which represents 50% of the UK’s $31bn trade surplus; this industry is now flying off to Europe. This must mean something no?
- The impact of skilled workers leaving the country impacting many industries and public services including the NHS.
- The devastating impact on the auto industry not just car manufacturers but also car part manufacturers that are losing out because of the new trade barriers/requirements and the cost of the new procedures involved to be able to sell to the EU. We could go on and on but here is the core point in all of this; the British economy like it or or not has been so integrated into the European economy/market and no other international deals can ever be so effective/reliable than the current situation being part of the EU – yes it is about economics but it’s also about shared culture & shared history. It is really not something one can reasonably argue; you can say however that irrespective I prefer out but that’s an opinion – certainly NOT a “Pragmatic” opinion as discussed with one of the LinkedIn members but an opinion nonetheless. The important thing is to make it clear to the British people and be honest about it if that’s the conscious political choice being made.
- The EU is inherently Undemocratic: Now that’s kind of rich to argue to be honest and here’s why;
- It is quite easy/convenient to make assertions without breaking it down to specifics and comparisons.
- Would it be a bit easier to reflect on the shortcomings of our own Democracy before heading to Europe? Are we really saying that our British Democracy is all hunky-dory even just judging on the basis of the flawed process that gave us BREXIT and the process that followed? I follow this point later in this post so hang on. One can justifiably be critical of the EU as a complex bureaucracy or not fully representative of a broader EU citizenry; this is something I could understand but at the same time we have to understand that the EU is a complex structure but one that can be fixed/adapted because after all it is an ongoing project and thankfully that’s by design. Giving up on the project is hardly the right answer except to a few who are likely to be the winners in this chaos-urging quicker change is the right one. The point is we really need to start thinking differently about Britishness and how it fits in in the context of an ever growing complex world of today. If BREXIT could be a solution lets properly develop/assess the plan and whether it solves a problem NOT run to the gates then plan and/or assess latter.
- The BREXIT referendum as even admitted by my friends on the BREXIT side has been marred by fallacies/lies but that’s politics as one suggested. No it isn’t is what I’d say; if any Referendum is to have any value it should be conducted in a way that protects it from being used as a disinformation platform particularly that these are specifically used for highly consequential/contentious issues that can affect generations to come. They are not designed to be a business-as-usual political solution. That said and considering the complicated issues involved nothing would be better than settling these matters through the normal democratic parliamentary process – this is what it’s for but our genius happy-go-lucky politicians were coached into passing the buck as usual.
There is more that could be said but I do not want to make this a lengthy post though it’s slowly becoming so. However my final point is this; BREXIT IS NOT ABOUT EUROPE/EU; it never was/never has been. The main thrust of BREXIT is in the main about an internal conflict in Britain where a sector of society has been pushed away/largely ignored and mis-represented in current British politics particularly when it comes to Migration & Identity. This is NOT a new phenomenon but one that has even occurred after the 2nd world war when there was mass migration to the UK (here’s a good reference point). BREXIT has merely been an opportunity for the sector of the society to take control and the other opposing sector to equally try to be political activists – ones that are heard/respected – by simplifying politics to single question and 2 opposing sides supported/championed by one’s own group and living in one’s own virtual reality and a social media going berserk because of the intoxicating sense of boundless power; boundless from any need for validation and feeding on pure perceptions & ego (now I need to take a long breath cause it was a long sentence). For liberals it may be a question of values but for BREXITEER’s it is really about hiding behind the EU shadow while throwing stones at the other side because for many of them there’s a problem admitting that yes it is mainly about Immigration / Identity and the question of racial integration. In many of my previous posts I eluded to this personal view of mine but now that we’re at the gates of BREXIT I thought to repeat my point here; it’s a story of a broken political system and politicians passing the blame for decades of failures to a third party – the EU – to deal with it which is why the Conservative & Labour Party’s now seem to be indistinguishable in many ways. In the old days it was the conservative sector of society that was largely neglected – now it’s the liberals turn. So now that BREXIT is upon us let’s try and find out why we’re out and how we can bridge the gaps in our worldview/value base that resulted in this mess; forget about political meddling, EU, WHO, WTO, U.S. of “O” or any other “O” I may have missed. We can all do with some critical thinking and challenge our own views if are to come out of this BREXIT nugget a stronger nation. I am an immigrant myself and proud to be one but I also accept wholeheartedly that the immigration system is an utter sham in many ways and has been for decades which is resulting in the erosion of social cohesion/integration – however the good news is that this can be resolved relatively easily, relatively quickly and painlessly because it’s about confidence that something is being done properly and no patches used.
Thanks again to all who exchanged messages with me on LinkedIn and other social media platforms and I hope we can one day come together and joke about these strange times we live in today.
I also hope that I can participate in face-to-face or online debates with BREXITEERS & “Remainders” – I have a strong suspicion we’re both similar species but I’m still gathering the evidence 🙂 – NOT to discuss past differences but rather to build bridges so that we can all unite again and share a more promising vision for the future of this country. Differences will remain but compromise and reaffirming our value base is the starting point.