As the Brexit wrecking ball smashes the UK economy apart, with generations of business wiped out and exports dropping 68% (so far), there seems to be a collective refusal to admit the truth in parliament; not just on the Tory benches but across the House: Somebody needs to say it. If this situation doesn’t get better within a year, we need to consider rejoining the European Union, at least in part, or we risk Britain going out of business.
How is it not screamingly obvious to everyone in the House of Commons, that rejoining the Single Market and/or Customs Union would immediately resolve the huge Brexit-spawned problems that are crippling Britains imports and exports – not only with EU partners but also with Northern Irish partners (within the UK itself?). How long will members of parliament let this go on for?
Do you seriously think that “tweaking” or “refining” parts of the infamous Oven Ready Deal now, after the Leavers celebrated it being “done”, is going to go down well, or solve anything? Look, your Brexit is done. It is sealed, signed and delivered. Forget tweaking it or refining it. You have your wish, you were elected upon it, now live with it, or admit the whole damn thing was a mistake.
Kier Starmer, though infinitely preferable to Haystack Head as a potential Prime Minister, has seriously let us down on this, saying “there is no case to rejoin the EU”. Now, I’m a realist and I wouldn’t seriously expect the leader of the opposition to stand there in parliament, less than 10 weeks after leaving the EU and demand we rejoin the EU.
But it is still his job to hold to account the promises made about Brexit, about the UK thriving and trading and being prosperous as a result of Johnson’s pet project. What about no border in the Irish Sea? Have we all given up on that one now?
Don't let the snake slither away. Grip its tale and squeeze the venom from its fangs.
One would hope, at the very least, Starmer would demand an estimate from Johnson. Give us a rough timeline: How long must this devastation last? Another month? A year? When do we start seeing the benefits? When do these “teething troubles” or “bumps in the road” ease off? Is it next year, or is it fifty years away, as Jacob Reese-Mogg suggested? Come on Starmer, demand answers, don’t let the snake slither away. Grip its tale and squeeze the venom from its fangs.
Ed Davies, leader of what we used to call the Stop Brexit Party, the Liberal Democrats, has also let us down, saying his party “won’t campaign to rejoin the EU”.
Now is not the time to shy away from Rejoin, it's the time to shout it from the rooftops.
Oh, Ed. That’s not good enough, it’s really not. You’ve blown it. All of the Lib Dem arguments to stop Brexit are being proved right, damn it! Now, after Brexit has happened, your party’s arguments for EU membership are being proved right up and down the country, and Leave voters are repenting as their businesses fall and benefits don’t materialise. Now is not the time to shy away from Rejoin, it’s the time to shout it from the rooftops! Wake up, Ed Davies! Remember who you are! We British Europeans need you!
Nobody is saying let’s rejoin tomorrow. But it’s perfectly reasonable to pencil in a timetable, of aiming to rejoin by 2030 if things don’t get better in this decade; to try and secure an agreement in principle so that the UK at least has some kind of backup plan, instead of mindlessly trudging into the abyss.
Only the SNP are open and frank about wanting to go back to EU membership, and it is their ambition for Scotland alone. Would it be a step to far, to hope that the SNP set a civil example, do it right, and they encourage Wales, Northern Ireland and England follow suit? Where is the voice for England, Wales and Northern Ireland in rejoining the EU? Who in parliament is making the case for the rest of us to rejoin? Anyone? No?
It is going to be a silent sleepwalk into the international wilderness.
Will nobody have the balls to stand up in Westminster and say look, this really and truly isn’t working, it’s ruining us all, destroying trade relations and forcing businesses to close; we have to urgently reconsider SM/CU membership at the very least.
Until somebody out there finds their lost voice, it is going to be a silent sleepwalk into the international wilderness for the UK. Global Britain we ain’t.
The Rejoin position needs a voice in Westminster. Yes, it may be ridiculed initially, it may be waived away, but the truths to be spoken will be undeniable: Businesses are ending. People are suffering. Britain is losing its way. All because of Brexit. Now, for opposition to be keeping quiet while the economy burns is just not going to cut it. Your constituents want representation. The elephant in the room is getting bigger every day.
Starmer, Davies, come on! Don’t be gutless: find your pro-EU voice and use it. If Johnson won’t entertain the notion then ask him how he plans to resolve the problems without rejoining.
For God’s sake, look at the jobs that already could have been saved, the businesses that need not have gone bust. How much more economic ruin are you going to let happen without even remotely suggesting Brexit is to blame?
Unless… maybe Starmer wants this Brexit damage to get worse? Maybe a Britain ravaged by Johnson’s Brexitastrophe helps the chances of victory for Labour in a 2024 general election? With a constructive Lib Dem alliance, perhaps even a landslide is possible. We all know Johnson won his election on the Get Brexit Done platform, perhaps you could win on the Get Brexit Right platform. The problem is, by then, the damage will be done. You will be a laughing stock. People will be destitute and livelihoods will be down the drain, all for nothing. They will hate you for not opposing it when you should have.
This lack of opposition is dreadfully weak, and if my MP were a Lib Dem or Labour one, I would make sure they know it.
Actually, this is all bollocks. I think we should campaign to rejoin.
But now the optimism: I believe there will, sooner rather than later, but such an overwhelming case to rethink the whole Brexit idea, that somebody, somewhere in a shadow cabinet meeting, will put their hand up and say, “Actually guys, this is all bollocks. I think we should campaign to rejoin.” And people will find it impossible to disagree.
In 2030 we trust.