We are now 21 months on from the EU referendum and 12 months from when Theresa May handed in the Article 50 notification. The UK and EU have just agreed a transition arrangement so that we can leave the EU without crashing out, but this means that we will formally leave the EU long before anyone knows just how good or bad the final deal will be.
I’ve found it difficult to put into words exactly what I think about Brexit. Might sound funny given that I have a blog, but I always feel that I need ALL THE FACTS before I can express a view.
Anyway, this weekend I attended a rally, part of a weekend of events, hosted by North East for Europe. I would have attended the Leeds March for Europe as well, but I’m not that organised and basically I’d forgotten that we’re in March now, not February.
One of the speakers at the rally made the point that we need to talk to each other about Brexit. It’s no good just shouting out of our bubbles. So here’s me not ranting, just pointing out exactly why, as we were encouraged to chant at the rally, Brexit is Bollocks.
That bus. There simply is not going to be £350 million a week that we can spend on the NHS. Even if the Government wanted to give it to the NHS, leaving the EU was always going to make us worse off, not better off.
Keeping the immigrants out. Even if we were under siege from hordes of EU immigrants (which we’re not), leaving the EU only stops those pesky Europeans, while trade deals further afield are likely to lead to increased immigration from other countries. Immigrants are generally good for our country. They come for the work (you know, all those jobs us Brits don’t want to do), and oh yes, it’s a two way street. We can live and work anywhere in the EU whenever it takes our fancy. But not for much longer.
In order to keep the immigrants out, we need border checks. That means delays at ports, and a border across Ireland. No border in Ireland leaves a route open for illegal immigrants to cross. A border across Ireland potentially starts the bombing again. I’m struggling to see any benefits here.
Better together. I’m betting that we’re going to find out pretty quickly that we’re only a small island, and are more prosperous as part of a larger community. Farmers need EU exports and EU labour. Fishermen are currently being shafted in EU trade negotiations and will lose access to wider EU fisheries post-Brexit. Science and medicine will suffer with a funding and brain drain. UK-based companies are already leaving. Politically we will be much smaller. The world is full of bullies, and by leaving the EU we lose our big buddy and gain another bully looking to beat us up.
Parliamentary sovereignty. This one seems to really rile a certain kind of Europhobe. Unfortunately, our politicians are so desperate to be seen to ‘honour the results of the referendum’ that they are happy to sign over this sacred sovereignty (while claiming that this is exactly why we must leave the EU), accede to anything our minority government wishes, and are just generally not to be trusted. Goodbye human rights, goodbye NHS, goodbye animal welfare standards, goodbye environmental protection. We have no idea how much the EU protects us from bad government. By the time we realise it will be way too late.
So, how’s that for a not-too-ranty expression of my point of view?
Bollocks to Brexit.
Photos from the Newcastle rally, Sunday 25 March 2018.