Ten reasons why it’s OK to fight Brexit

Article 50 will be triggered by March 2017, says PM Theresa May, setting the UK onto an irreversible journey out of the European Union and into the unknown. Is it undemocratic to want the Brexit vote reversed and the triggering halted? Here are 10 reasons why it’s right to fight.
1. The referendum was non-binding. In a parliamentary democracy, major decisions rest with parliament – where a majority of MPs support Remain. It is not undemocratic to argue for parliamentary democracy to be applied in, well, a parliamentary democracy.
2. The referendum result was based in part on lies, misinformation and misunderstanding. Alongside the voters with a genuine desire to leave at all costs were those who believed in the bus (£350m a week for the NHS); believed you could biff the migrants and keep the single market; believed a dodgy Christian video “proving” from Biblical prophecies that Brussels was evil; believed that Boris Johnson really wanted to leave. And so on.
3. The question was never suitable for a referendum. Given the complexities of the issue and the impossible task of grasping the consequences of an Out vote, this was simply never an appropriate question. If David Cameron had thought for a moment he would lose, he would never have called the referendum. Internal Tory party politics – a proxy war between two old Etonians – have in effect brought down a nation. Talk about Whoops Apocalyse.
4. The Remain campaign was conducted with complacency. The nation sleepwalked into the vote with the Remain camp expecting it would be alright on the night. The debate, for all its moments of passion, was largely played out in a context where the Remain camp was expected to win by all sides – including Johnson and Farage. A galvanised, high-energy debate among friends, neighbours and colleagues, not to mention with a lot more oomph from our political leaders, could have ended differently.
5. The silent Remainers have not been heard. The millions of eligible voters who didn’t turn can largely be assumed to be Remainers, as those with strong Leave desire would have been more motivated to go to the polls. Of course democracy normally only counts those who bother to vote, but sleepwalking into a historic, irreversible change of direction is a different scenario from electing MPs and a government for four or five years. With the polls predicting a Remain win, and the aforementioned complacency, the Silent Remainers had not grasped the critical need to turn out.
6. The Nigel Farage factor. A man of the calibre of Nigel Farage should not be allowed to determine the whole future of the UK. Nuff said.
7. We owe it to our young people, who voted overwhelmingly to remain. Young people do not see the world in the same way as older generations, and the years to come are their years. The younger generations get the whole idea that, like it or not, we exist in a globalised world.  Work, study, travel, family and friends and now span the globe.  The fundamental interconnected of all things has never been more apparent.  Many older folks just don’t get that.  Some still have a post-colonial mindset, that global power somehow radiates from the UK.  Britannia no longer rules the waves. Sorry but there it is. It’s not all about us.
8. The voter-consequence inverse relationship. The more likely people were to vote to leave, the shorter the time they will have to live with the consequences. The generations who voted to leave will not have to live with the long-term impact of their decision. It is fundamentally undemocratic to allow one generation – which happens to be larger numerically – to wipe out the future of another generation.
9. You gotta serve somebody. Our future outside the EU would almost certainly entail being subservient to Beijing (or whoever) instead of Brussels. Millions of Leave voters will simply not have understood that in a world of seven billion people, a small nation of 64 million people can’t kick global ass. The prospect of Britain – or heaven forbid, the actual royal yacht Britannia –  sailing alone on the high seas seeking trade deals, does not fill many of us with confidence, especially when Fox, Davis and Johnson are on the bridge. Other countries will have us over a barrel, with only a two-year window to come up with solutions:  Small isle (sceptred), GSOH, currently unattached, going through messy divorce, desperately seeks trading partners for meaningful long-term relationship.  All offers considered.
10. The brain drain, the economy and the law of unintended consequences. No one knows the full impact of Brexit, hard, soft of medium-rare. But virtually every credible source – economists, scientists, academics, lawyers, civil servants – do not believe it will be in the best interests of the country. (Neither do most MPs and journalists, but they may not count as credible sources). It is not elitist or undemocratic to listen to those with the most understanding. The high likelihood is of a brain-drain of younger, talented people, a loss of at least some of our valuable migrant workforce, a moderate-to-severe impact on the economy and a consequent sharp reduction in tax intake as a result of all three. Democracy seeks to serve the interests of the people by giving them an informed say on a question whose consequences they could reasonably be expected to foresee. That was simply not the case here.
So should we 48ers should do what the British do best: get over it, accept that we lost, internalise our grief, Keep Calm and Carry On, and pretend we’re fine? Well I am not fine with Brexit. I am not fine with accepting that this was a legitimate democratic mandate to change the course of a nation and possibly a continent. I am not fine with an outcome which plays into a far-right agenda and has already triggered xenophobic attacks and verbal assaults across the country.
Call me undemocratic, deluded, dim, but I believe the biggest service any of us could do for the people of the UK right now is to fight this all the way. And rage, rage against the dying of the EU.

3 thoughts on “Ten reasons why it’s OK to fight Brexit

  1. Yes let’s get on the streets in large numbers and let these badly informed Brexiters know what we are about. I have been on one Pro-EU rally this year but we need more of these to stop Mayhem and her cohorts ruining this country of ours.
    By the way Diggitydig a very well written piece.

    1. Thank you again for responding and for your kind words about the blog. I haven’t seen any recent plans for further demos but will do my utmost to get there. At the moment the opposition is quite fragmented but it’s great that we have social media and blogs to connect at this grassroots level!

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