There is a lovely recent tweet which I’ve come across from the lawyer and occasional FT correspondent, David Allen Green in which he suggests wording for any future Brexit referendum:
– Please make it stop and all go away
– Let all this carry on for decades and get worse.
I think he needs to add that the first option is, in fact, the option to remain.
Those fed up with Brexit, even Leavers must be aware, that living in Britain under EU membership rules was not an especial hardship.
The second option is the option to leave. Because, should we leave or even worse, ‘crash out’, we will be dealing with the problems of rengotiating the 45 year old relationship with the EU, whether we like it or not. And, it should be added, that we probably will not like it – we will be the one who has voluntarily enfeebled ourselves and cut ourselves off from our far larger and nearest neighbour. Stopping it and going away in such circumstances is likely to simply to impoverish the country for years.
What somebody somewhere should realise is that if you must leave, it involves getting all your ducks in a row first. So things like a more diverse economy more suited to satisfy home demand and discouraging industries which treat the European Union as, er… a single market, greater efforts towards horticulture and diversity of rotation of crops and less specialisation – for the same, home demand reasons. And then, importantly, uniting Ireland. These would be the least of the requirements.
None of these are, incidentally, necessarily bad things but that is where the starting point should be. The UK government has started by the end.
The “Prepare for Brexit” slogan should not be an advertising campaign with a month’s notice for the people, but the intention of government policy for the next – preparatory – decade.