Brexit: the eternal scapegoat

c: | f: /

All the political parties are in turmoil after the EU referendum result. Nobody has a plan. Nobody wants to deal with it. Fine, I’ll do it then.

If ever there’s a vacancy in a political party, you can normally bet your grandma there’ll be a whole bunch of backstabbing wannabes clamouring for the top spot.

But not this time. Not when there’s the prospect of actual work to do.

In post-referendum Britain, the spineless politicians have scampered to the hills and the public at large don’t appear to be much help. The ‘remain’ people can’t see past their own bigotry, branding everyone who voted to leave the EU as racist, ill-educated scum, and clamouring for a rematch. The most vociferous of the ‘leave’ people are vainly trying to hold the few remaining politicians to account for the outright lies that were spread in the run-up to the vote. Yeah, good luck with that.

The trouble is, there are others — like me — who see the situation as various shades of grey. Fewer than fifty, but many shades nonetheless. There are benefits to being in the EU. There are benefits out of it. But nobody — whichever way they voted — can say with conviction that being wholly in or wholly out of the club is perfect. Despite, or because of, the meddling of the power elite, the EU is going to self-destruct at some point. That’s the only truth.

Inside the EU, we’re but one voice of many and are likely to be outvoted on key issues, primarily because we didn’t adopt the Euro currency. And behind the stage curtain, that’s what Europe’s all about; amassing money and power by the back door for those that run it.

Outside the EU? Well, nobody knows yet. But that’s the one strength in the whole mismanaged ‘exit’ debacle. What the wake-up has done for us is given the country an unprecedented opportunity to do better. Inside the EU we are (pretty much) bound by its laws, wholesale. Outside the EU we can choose which bits we want to honour. And that’s a powerful situation to be in.

Whoever heads up the negotiations can broker not just one deal, but over twenty, if necessary, for each facet of our relationship with the countries in the Eurozone and beyond. Want to allow free trade with France but limited trade with Ireland? Fine, we can do it if that makes sense. If we want to honour better working rights for Britons in Germany than Holland, we can do it. Do we want to levy lower tariffs for organic food being brought in by truck from close European countries compared with those places further afield, to reduce carbon emissions? Sure, it’s possible.

Everything is now possible.

Yes, it’s bloody hard work to unpick zillions of laws and forge new treaties. But whoever does it can, and should, be guided in such decisions by everyone — whether they voted to leave, remain or abstained.

Nobody’s going to ask which way you voted if you voice an opinion. If people in the ‘remain’ camp feel strongly about a particular part of being in Europe that is going to affect their livelihood, make sure to voice that particular point to your MP so it filters up the chain of command. If you’re polite, they have to listen. It’s their job.

As it stands, all I’m hearing from the pro-Europe camp is complaining. Instead of using their voices for change, they’re using the referendum result as an excuse to say “told you so” even before stuff has stabilised. Presumably, anything that ever goes wrong in the country from now on is the fault of the people that voted to leave. Pound dips a few cents? It’s those damn thicky Brexiteers. Hurricane hits the West coast? Go and blame the stupid people who voted us out of the EU.

Seriously, it’s a ridiculous attitude. If the vote had gone the other way, would the ‘leave’ camp demand another referendum? No. Would they roll over and give up hope of change? No.

So stop bleating and sharing inane memes and half-truths on Facebook that change nothing. Grow up and go talk to the right people — the few politicians that have the gumption to stand up and be counted — and get them to help put agreements in place that serve you, and us as a country, better.

It’s not every day you have the chance to reshape the laws of an entire country. I suggest you take that opportunity with both hands, ‘cos if we leave it to the politicians alone, they’ll shape the place in their own self-interest and screw it up for the rest of us.

I want your brainjar

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