Skip to main content

End the righteous indignation on Brexit.

Given the country is equally divided, and parliament is supposed to be a representative body, then it is no surprise that parliament also is divided on Brexit.

We are told that this is an issue that is above party. Indeed it is, and that is why each of the major political parties is also divided on the issues. 

Yet, party leaders are denounced for not being 'decisive'.

What kind of Brexit?

The country is still in the dark about the effects Brexit will have on the economy, and voters appear deaf to the pleas from those sectors most affected.   It is as if it doesn't matter.

The decision to leave has been taken with little or no heed of the consequences.   The people have spoken, and it is expected that those with concerns should 'shut up' and accept the 'democratic will' of the people.  This has stifled discussion, and it has created confusion and frustration and has led to the current shambles in parliament. 

We are told it would be wrong to question the judgment of voters.  It is used as a trump card to stifle real debate and genuine consideration of the consequences. 

Yet, if we are to get a sensible Brexit, we need to take care of the issues.  

One truth we now know.    'Brexit' can mean a number of outcomes with different impacts on the economy and on politics.   This is what the argument is about.  Hard or soft doesn't really express this.  The use of terms like Hard or Soft gives the impression that those wanting the 'softer' outcome are somehow reneging on the referendum vote.  

Those who want a hard Brexit believe that a soft Brexit isn't  'real' Brexit because it doesn't bring back control to the UK.  Remaining in the single market would mean we would have to adhere to rules made by the EU.  But that need not be the case for the central issue of 'control' - the one that most concerned voters - the free movement of people.

Brexit not an ideal

Voters expect our representatives to get the best deal with our European partners.  That will require compromise and pragmatism.  The outcome will not be ideal because Brexit is not some ideal heaven on earth.  Our economy has been aligned to the single market for decades and has benefited substantially from it. 

The promised land, if there is one, will take a long time to build after Brexit.  It will depend on the kind of deals we can do with the rest of the world for trade, but critically the kind of deal we can do with our big trading partner across the channel.   It will depend on what kind of deal we do with the single market.  

Yet, far from pragmatism, each side has elevated the issues with 'red lines' - No to this, No to that.  By doing so, they rule out the very compromises necessary to move forward for the best outcome.  This is not a time for the charge of the light brigade.

For Parliament and British people   

If your leaders say that the 'will of the people' is paramount, then why not test that will?  Work for the best possible deal, and then put it to Parliament and the British people.   For only then will we be sure that it is what people want. 

For all this is to be possible,  Members of Parliament should be given the freedom to debate and vote free of party whips.   The public should be properly informed of the potential consequences of any deal.   The current shambles is not the way to get the best outcome.  Righteous indignation is getting us nowhere.

Author: Ray Noble





Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Ian Duncan-Smith says he wants to make those on benefits 'better people'!

By any account, the government's austerity strategy is utilitarian. It justifies its approach by the presumed potential ends. It's objective is to cut the deficit, but it has also adopted another objective which is specifically targeted. It seeks to drive people off benefits and 'back to work'.  The two together are toxic to the poorest in society. Those least able to cope are the most affected by the cuts in benefits and the loss of services. It is the coupling of these two strategic aims that make their policies ethically questionable. For, by combining the two, slashing the value of benefits to make budget savings while also changing the benefits system, the highest burden falls on a specific group, those dependent on benefits. For the greater good of the majority, a minority group, those on benefits, are being sacrificed; sacrificed on the altar of austerity. And they are being sacrificed in part so that others may be spared. Utilitarian ethics considers the ba

The secret life of Giant Pandas

Giant pandas, Ailuropoda melanoleuca , have usually been regarded as solitary creatures, coming together only to mate; but recent studies have begun to reveal a secret social life for these enigmatic bears.  GPS tracking shows they cross each others path more often than previously thought, and spend time together.  What we don't know is what they are doing when together.  Photo by  Sid Balachandran  on  Unsplash For such large mammals, pandas have relatively small home ranges. Perhaps this is no surprise. Pandas feed almost exclusively on bamboo. The only real threat to pandas has come from humans. No wonder then that the panda is the symbol of the WWF.  Pandas communicate with one another through vocalization and scent marking. They spray urine, claw tree trunks and rub against objects to mark their paths, yet they do not appear to be territorial as individuals.  Pandas are 99% vegetarian, but, oddly, their digestive system is more typical of a carnivore. For the 1% of their diet

Work Capability Assessments cause suffering for the mentally ill

People suffering from mental health problems are often the most vulnerable when seeking help. Mental health can have a major impact on work, housing, relationships and finances. The Work Capability Assessments (WCA) thus present a particular challenge to those suffering mental illness.  The mentally ill also are often the least able to present their case. Staff involved in assessments lack sufficient expertise or training to understand mental health issues and how they affect capability. Because of  concerns that Work Capability Assessments will have a particularly detrimental effect on the mentally ill,  an  e-petition  on the government web site calls on the Department of Work and Pensions to exclude people with complex mental health problems such as paranoid schizophrenia and personality disorders. Problems with the WCA  have been highlighted in general by the fact that up to 78% of 'fit to work' decisions are  being overturned on appeal. It is all to the good that they