If you support a Tory agenda of privatisation of the NHS, reduction of consumer, employee and environmental protections and a tax haven for corporations but a bigger tax burden for ordinary tax payers, you can now rejoice.
Congratulations. You are a winner.
If you don’t, but you’re still a Leaver (or a Remainer) you are in for the biggest high risk national gamble for generations, where the odds are stacked against you.
Our cards are rather weak. The kind of cards you simply don’t gamble your fortune on. Or others’.
This is our gamble:
1. An almost certain worse deal than we have now with our main trading partner and the world’s biggest trading bloc. Or return to WTO rules, making trade much more expensive for manufacturers and goods more expensive for consumers. Or become a corporate tax haven funded by higher taxes on ordinary people.
2. A massive £MultiBillion divorce bill.
3. A significant risk to the breakup of the United Kingdom, before or after Brexit.
4. A serious risk of a hard Northern Ireland—Ireland border, with implications for the future of the province being lost to a united Ireland.
5. No significant reduction to immigration as we need EU workers but risk they will not come here, with already early damage to several industries and public services such as our National Health Service.
6. A geopolitical dependency on an increasingly isolationist and protectionist US, attacking the guarantors of decades of peace in Europe (NATO and EU) together with an aggressive Russia and a rapidly militaristic China. We also risk disengaging good-will on the security cooperation we need as the EU are the buffer nations on our soft near-landmass underbelly.
7. A national divide between the Leave and Remain side which the Government has made no attempt to accommodate, indeed, it has further widened it, and leaving 3 million EU citizens and another 1.5 million emigrated Brits in limbo about their future.
8. A rabid tabloid press and ultra-Brexiteers ruining educated and fact-based debate around our national issues, demonising all political opinion opposed to it and supporting ugly, hateful, bigoted xenophobia and minority bashing.
9. A void of any planning for a bad or no deal for us in the delusion that this is within our control to achieve, when the actual control resides within the EU27 as to what they will offer us, run by a DExEU who haven’t filled 1 in 3 vacancies yet.
10. A democratic deficit where the parliamentary opposition is self-destroyed, the judiciary is vilified by the tabloid press, unsupported by the government and the fourth estate of the press is partly semi-fake or mind-manipulated news.
We’ve accepted all these risks and accepted the national damage to “take back control” of immigration that won’t come down as we need it, sovereignty that “was never lost” — only to secure unity within an elitist Tory party that was tearing itself apart.
We asked the wrong question and got the wrong answer.
The real question was never about Pawel the Polish builder or laws on the mythical straightness of bananas.
It was about how Government didn’t care enough about us to distribute wealth and invest in public services. Wealth generated by the help of immigrants. Distributed to the rich.
The EU became the scapegoat to divert attention from our own governance failures in education, housing, welfare and healthcare.
It’s an age-old tactic. If in trouble at home, find an enemy abroad.
The enemy was easy to locate. Find the losers of your own policies. Stoke their nostalgia of bulldog spirit of grandiose empire and heroic war. Blame the stranger in our midst and the old enemies of the past.
Hate arises. The foreigner takes your job, your benefits, your house, your culture, your laws. Banish him.
Except it wasn’t true. It was the magician’s oldest trick. Diversion. The audience was fooled.
It was fooled by straight forward lies.
The lie that £350 million per week would come back to our public services.
The lie that immigration could not be controlled when we don’t bother with directive EC/2004/38, allowing us to deport any EU national without work, health insurance or supporting funds after 3 months.
The lie that sovereignty was lost when the Government’s own White Paper says it wasn’t, it “only felt like it”.
The lie that Turkey would join the EU with millions immigrating to our country when we have a veto against it.
The lie that we would join an EU army when no such thing exists and, even if it did, we would not be obliged to.
The lie that the EU is collapsing when every single EU27 nation has a growing economy.
The lie that leaving would be easy and we would serve notice the day after the referendum, when we will face a massive £MultiBillion bill to leave and it could take ten years or more and involves immense complexity.
It was trickery. A magician’s smoke and mirror. Fooled once happens to the best of us. Believing the trickery after it’s been revealed is a different matter.
Brexit is now a recipe for confusion, chaos and collision with reality.
That’s why millions of Brits and EU nationals are worried and unsupportive of a national gamble, based on a legal advisory-only referendum, decided on lies, where only 37% of eligible voters were in support of a major constitutional reform (or 26% of the population).
Democracies are dynamic. Opinions alter. Directions amended. Decisions changed.
This means people can express and argue their beliefs within the confines of law regardless of being a minority or a majority.
That is proper and right. It’s our proud British democracy.
Don’t be fooled by the expression “the will of the people”. It’s anti-democratic and simply used to stifle dissent. Most telling, the term is from totalitarian regimes. Hitler used it. Stalin and Mussolini, too. The ultra-Brexiteers have adopted it to avoid scrutiny of their campaign lies and to enforce their Tory agenda.
Every question, every critique is shouted down by the slogan of “the will of the people”. Why? Because they know they don’t have a winning argument behind the ideology, behind the lies.
We are facing two years of a history-defining game of chess. The most important and challenging game in most people’s living memory.
Our opposite game player is a grand master. This is what they do. We haven’t played for decades and our strategy is weak and overt, some of our pieces are still missing, their pieces can move better than ours and our audience back home is increasingly wishing the game was never played.
The law of unintended consequences will pay its debts now. They’ve already started to affect the cost of living, industrial output and public services such as the NHS.
This is much bigger than May’s political legacy and ego. It’s bigger than Tory party unity. It’s about 65 million citizens being more impoverished, their children’s futures restricted and our nation’s standing being diminished.
Over to you, Theresa. You promised a better and richer Britain. You now have to deliver the square peg in the round hole.
Or do the decent thing, tell the truth about what it means to leave the EU. Just like you did before June 23 last year. You spoke strongly against it.
Stop the lies. The premise of today was built on lie after lie. Enough is enough.
It’s not the will of the people. It’s the wreck of the people.
A democracy that can’t change its mind, ceases to be a democracy.
In the end, it’s better to be slapped with the truth than kissed with a lie.