Skip to main content

No Brexit Sense

I really don't understand why we didn't approach Brexit sensibly. There was a mad rush to invoke article 50 and set the process in motion. It was a signal to voters that the result of the referendum would be 'honoured', and with a lot of macho grandstanding. But no planning for Brexit had been made. The voters gave an answer that wasn't anticipated.



Complex trade deals take ten or more years in the making. They are also politically entangled. Brexit is a more complex trade deal because it involves disentangling our institutional arrangements, not just trade but our politics. So much of our security depends on cooperation with European institutions we helped establish, and many of these collaborations we would wish to continue.

This is why treating the EU as an 'enemy' in the negotiations has been so foolish. They are our partners. 

We should have considered that any transition would be politically difficult. Instead of making the transition 'as short as possible' we needed a long transition to protect businesses and jobs. A customs union and alignment with the single market would have been a sensible approach.

Of course, it would mean we would continue to accept regulations made in Brussels, but as a transitional arrangement, it would have solved the problem of the border in Northern Ireland and allowed us to negotiate our future trading relationship with the EU. 

It would also have given time for reflection, for debate and time to heal divisions.  Instead, the Leave and Remain camps have entrenched in all-out war - it is now no-deal or remains.  This has divided the country and runs the risk of blindly jumping ill-prepared from the cliff edge. 

Now we face leaving with no-deal. No arrangements for the future. You cannot unravel 40 years of political and economic cooperation in three years. Those politicians who say otherwise are not being honest with us.

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

Mr Duncan-Smith offers a disingenuous and divisive comparison

Some time ago, actually it was a long time ago when I was in my early teens, someone close to me bought a table. It was an early flat pack variety. It came with a top and four legs. He followed the instructions to the letter screwing the legs into the top. But when he had completed it the table wobbled. One leg he explained was shorter than the other three; so he sawed a bit from each of the other legs. The table wobbled. One leg, he explained, was longer than the other three. So, he sawed a bit off. The table wobbled. He went on cutting the legs, but the table continued to wobble. Cut, cut, cut! By this time he had convinced himself there was no alternative to it.  He ended up with a very low table indeed, supported by four very stumpy legs and a bit of cardboard placed under one of them to stop it wobbling on the uneven floor.  Mr Duncan-Smith argues that we need a 1% cap on benefits to be 'fair to average earners'. Average  earners have seen their incomes rise by less tha

His way or none? Why I can't vote for Jeremy

There is an assumption that all would be well with the Labour Party if people hadn't expressed their genuine concern with what they consider the inadequacies of Jeremy Corbyn's leadership. If only, it is said, the Parliamentary Labour Party and his Shadow Cabinet had supported him, instead of undermining him, all would have been fine. If they had been quiet and towed the line, then the party would not have been in the mess it is in. So, should they have stayed silent, or speak of their concerns? There comes a point when the cost of staying silent outweighs the cost of speaking out. This is a judgment. Many call it a coup by the PLP. They paint a picture of a right-wing PLP out of touch with the membership.  This is the narrative of the Corbyn camp. But Jeremy Corbyn, over the decades he has been in politics, showed the way.  It was Jeremy Corbyn who opposed almost all Labour leaders and rarely held back from speaking out, or voting time and again against the party line. As