It is what it is…

Leaving the EU

It is what it is (I don’t mean “Brexit is Brexit”, I promise)…

… just what is it? It’s not the product that was sold to us, is it? But what did we think we’d bought?

Cheques for £350m a week for the NHS –bounced before we even thought about cashing them.

The way to keep “foreigners” from “coming in and taking our jobs” – but apparently many of these jobs are ones we’re either unqualified for or unwilling to do – another body-blow for the beleaguered NHS, as well as one for all those struggling to grow, process and serve our food, for example.

The way to ensure that UK courts are the highest judicial authority in the land – but when they ruled that Parliament had to be consulted before Article 50 was invoked, who squealed like stuck pigs?

And if we are to retain access to the single market, which most people accept is important, how can the EUCJ not be the final authority on conformity to EU law?

Regaining control over our borders – why was this necessary, when we’d never lost control? Admittedly, a coastline of close to 19,500 miles is hard to patrol constantly, but being in or out of the EU doesn’t change that.

The way to open up our trade with the rest of the world, so much better than trading with the EU – I’m not going to insult your intelligence by going any further with that one.

But what was in the package that nobody mentioned? Quite a few things, as we have now found out. Euratom, national security, “divorce settlement”, economy and exchange rate diving, jobs going abroad…

So the “product” was inaccurately and inadequately described. Not to mention the lies, except I just did. And by the way, in the EU there is legal recourse (all the way to the EUCJ, in fact) when you’ve been sold a pup. Be that as it may, what do you do when you’ve been had?

You go and demand that whoever sold you whatever-it-was puts things right, don’t you?

and the only time is now

Not now this minute, but now, before the clock stops ticking. On the brink of what any thinking person can see is disaster for the UK on so many fronts. Political, economic, social…

Let’s stop thinking that we’re still in the glory days of the British Empire, that if there’s fog in the Channel it’s the Continent that’s isolated.

Let’s stop hoping “it’ll be all right on the night”. For this particular play, there’s no plot and no script, there have been no rehearsals and so far the opening night’s a disaster. The only thing that’s worse than a comedy where nobody laughs is a drama where almost everyone does.

We need the EU, its strength, its security, the way it works for the benefit of its members, bent bananas be damned!

Recent events have shown that even the government acknowledges that we need to be part of the EU even if we’re not part of it… We need to replicate EU legislation and be subject to the EUCJ if we are to trade freely with the EU.

But replicating it won’t be enough to help UK citizens in the EU who rely on the EU-wide law which applied when they relocated, because it won’t be reciprocal. Same could apply to EU citizens who relocated to the UK. And remember, these decisions could have been made over 40 years ago.

We won’t get what we want in a post-Brexit deal without freedom of movement, which in fact we desperately need for many reasons, but especially to help keep us fed, and looked after when we’re being born, ill or dying. It doesn’t get much more fundamental than that.

And of course the EU needs the UK for its national security expertise, its mastery of the financial markets… and the fact that its mother tongue is the international language.

Then again, perhaps it doesn’t need the UK so very much after all. Centres of expertise, financial market experts, motor manufacturers who are here because we’re part of the EU, these are just some of those who are now poised for flight, or in the air already. And for those needing somewhere in the EU that speaks English… what’s wrong with Ireland?

Let’s just take a step back and consider all those things that were supposed to happen that won’t be happening. All those things that weren’t mentioned that are, and will be, happening. There’s no way it’s what people thought they were voting for.

Let’s be “very clear” about that, as TM is fond of saying.

So going in head down for Brexit at any price because “the people have spoken” is as redundant as refusing to acknowledge that Parliament did vote in favour of triggering Article 50.

Both of those are/were a bad idea. But as I said, it is what it is.

Now that we know a great deal more, and are hopefully better placed to make an informed decision, we need to work out where we go now: I mean from this hole we’re in to a position that’s in the best interest of the UK.

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