I am sorry about this but I have been listening to all the news about “Article 50” and the so-called “Deal or No Deal” vote offered to Members of Parliament that I felt I have to get this off my chest! All of this is obvious to me but honestly I haven’t heard anyone in politics or on the news media say it.
Firstly I want to clear up one thing. I think that the political reality is that for good or ill, the future of the UK is outside the EU and we are therefore wasting our time with that particular argument; it’s a “done deal”. No mainstream politician would dare suggest Parlement ignore the referendum result because like it or not, we had a democratic process and if we don’t respect the outcome then we are in real trouble.
I do however have a real problem with the “alt fact” that the only way to fulfil the will of the people is to give the (unelected) May government carte blanche to handle our exit from the EU in whatever way it sees fit. May wants to govern by decree like Donald Trump and anything else is deemed anti-democtaric verging on treasonous. I really don’t understand why journalists don’t challenge that particular un-truth. The other fairly fundemental thing that we need to keep our eyes on is that given the above, our leaders must strive for the best possible outcome for our nation. This however seems to be lost in all the lies and fear that some have that somehow it’s possible that their hard won Brexit might be lost.
My real gripe however, is with this Article 50 which has got to be the most rubbish piece of traty ever written; it was obviously intended never to be used! The problem is, that as soon as you invoke it, you are “out on your ear” in two years, like it or not. Effectively you will have given away most of the power you had in any negotiation before you even start. No wonder other European governments are so keen to refuse any negotiations prior to the article being invoked, because they know that as soon as it is, they can pretty much dictate to the UK whatever they decide! But we have to invoke Article 50 to leave the EU don’t we? Well, not really. if we had a Government with some backbone the conversation would be something like “We want out, but we really aren’t prepared to invoke Article 50, we want to negotiate a bespoke deal, a Brexit Treatey”.
And how would our friends react? Probably quite badly at first but consider this: We are still full members of the EU, with full rights. (I cannot fathom why Mrs May allowed herself to be humiliated by being excluded from some EU meetings. Surely the can’t legally do that, if I were the Government, I would take them to court on that!) After they have calmed down and ranted for the bit, they will have to get the UK vote for a new trade deal, or a new regulation or other such and we would say “well what about our treaty?” How long could they really put up with an uncooperative UK member? Remember, leaving the EU is a premenant step – a one-way decision so why rush things? Lets take the long view.
Now I know that the Leave campaigners, the “arch Brexiteers” like Nigel Farrage and his ilk would be dead set against this approach. He and his like are terrified that somehow if things are delayed the decision might be reversed and their chance of a lifetime to get out of the EU would be gone! Their fundamental axiom is that any kind of out is better than in so any sensible discussion with them is impossible. You only have to look at the hysterical tabloid media reaction to “so-called judges” (a.k.a enemies of the people) daring to assert the rights of Parlament, to see that common sense has left the building. Calm down! The referendum is over and the result has been accepted by mainstream politics but lets get it right, not quick!
My belief is that the type of deal that the UK government ought to be insisting on is in everyone’s interest but it will need a lot of leverage to get European leaders off their political high horses. A deal that maintains feee trade and customs-less borders and importantly, resolves the “free movement” question by meeting the essential need for economic migration while addressing the legitimate economic and cultural concerns of people across Europe. The problem the “establishment” politicians face is that if they don’t adresss this the far right will and the politics of hate will take over. What European governments need to realise that sending the UK away with a flea in its ear will not solve that particular problem. With a Le Pen government in France, Brexit will be the least of their worries!