Well, I can’t quite believe I AM publishing this, either
It’s the Spring Bank Holiday weekend — Sunday, 5th May 2019 — and we are still in the EU
1,047 days ago the majority of the electorate voted to leave the European Union. The Prime Minister had promised to invoke Article 50 “the next day” if Leave won.
In the worst case scenario, the UK should, therefore, have left the EU on 24 June 2018
That’s 316 days ago
It could all have been so different
Of course, the UK needn’t have even waited that long. If robust negotiations had started immediately, and it would have very quickly become apparent that the EU wished to punish the UK.
“This will not be an amicable divorce.”
Yes, he really did say the above, on the day of the EU Referendum result, to German media.
Unelected EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, 24 June 2016
The government could then have announced that the UK would be leaving as soon as some basic agreements had been made on reciprocal rights of citizens, a continuation of flights, and a raft of technical matters. The European Communities Act of 1972 could then have been repealed, and we would have been out. Possibly within a year of the vote, in June 2017.
We could have been free
For the last two years, we would have been a free, independent, and sovereign nation. The EU would have been forced to agree an interim arrangement under Article 24 of the GATT treaty, whereby trading would have continued without tariffs whilst a new free trade agreement was being negotiated.
If they had not done so, the economy of the Irish Republic would have collapsed and at least a couple of other economies in the Eurozone would have gone into recession.
Yes, under these circumstances there would have been a jolt to the UK economy too, the pound would have fallen, (it did anyway)but gradually the world’s traders would have woken up to the immense underlying power of the UK and within a year everything would have been turning up again.
Trading freely and globally
By now we would have had free trade agreements with the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Singapore, and the myriad of other countries who have been lining up ever since the UK voted to leave the EU.
The Irish border would have been a non-issue, as HMRC, Irish Customs, and the EU Parliament’s own report all said that no physical infrastructure was needed. HMRC and Irish Customs would have made it happen. (Instead, they were suddenly prevented from talking to each other.
Most importantly of all, democracy in the UK would have stayed relatively intact
Sadly, I now consider democracy in the United Kingdom to be in the intensive care ward. This is the biggest tragedy of all, in MY view, of the mess that this Government and Parliament have made of Brexit.
This has nothing to do with Brexit itself, of course. It is all to do with the catastrophic decline in the quality of our political class over the last generation. Forget the details of withdrawal agreements, this is about anti-democratic and poor quality MPs.
Parliament versus the People
The simple fact is that the people voted to leave the EU and Parliament has been blocking it for almost three years.
The Westminster-centric media, most of whom are Remainers, have focused on matters such as ‘Parliamentary arithmetic”. They focus on who said what each day. This problem has nothing to do with that.
This is about MPs refusing to accept and implement a clear democratic vote of the people — the largest in United Kingdom history.
This cannot be stressed strongly enough.
“Squeeze them ’til the pips squeak”
So said former Labour Chancellor Denis Healey in the 1970s when talking of the rich. Well, what’s sauce for the goose…
It’s simple. MPs must be told to respect the vote. “Squeeze them ’til the pips squeak”