My proposal for a successful Brexit

Having voted courageously to take back control of our nation and regain our sovereignty, it has been incredibly frustrating to see our elected representatives over-complicating the process of Brexit and not putting Britain’s interests first. I have heard much from Theresa May and her team about how difficult it all is; less about the opportunities that Brexit presents for us as a nation. So let’s break down the stumbling blocks one by one, and look at how the governement should be approaching them.

Firstly, the Irish question. The Leave campaign always stressed that there was no need for a hard border in Ireland. I can see why there are some issues to be resolved here, but no one wants border checks, which is why I would propose an agreement that goods can be brought from Ireland into the UK, or vice versa, without any restrictions. Of course, as Ireland already has an agreement with the EU, this would automatically mean that there would be no need for customs checks for going in an out of any other EU country, thus reducing red tape and showing that, despite Brexit, Britain is open for business!

Of course, trade is an important issue and I feel it’s important that, as a newly sovereign nation, we are able to trade freely and openly with our European neighbours. A free trade agreement is of paramount importance and must be negotiated quickly, in order to give Britain’s businesses the boost they need after being constrained by EU meddling for decades. A free trade agreement with Europe would free up our businesses and give them the chance to be among the best in the world.

And then we have immigration. Of course, no one is suggesting that we want to restrict the rights of the brightest and best in the country to develop their skills abroad and it would be absurd, not to mention a bureaucratic nightmare, to imagine that European citizens should have to apply for a visa to enter the UK. So we must come to an agreement whereby people can move freely between Britain and Europe, demonstrating our newly outward-facing stance. We must, as a matter of great priority, regain control of our borders, which will mean passport checks when coming over from France for example, but the fact that they already exist and have done for many decades means that this is a cost-neutral proposal. So much for the doom and gloom from those remoaners!

If the Government follows these simple proposals instead of just focusing on the problems and the negatives, then we will end up with a successful Brexit that works for Britain. A new relationship with Europe, one where we can forge close ties while remaining a sovereign nation. A union with our European friends, if you will.

* David Gray is a musician, actor and writer based in Birmingham. He is a a co-director of Keep Streets Live

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  • Mick Taylor 5th Dec '17 - 8:55am

    Oh dear Mr Gray. If only it were that simple.
    I’ll just deal with 1 issue you raise. An open border with Ireland. This would mean that ANY COUNTRY IN THE WORLD could ship its goods to the UK and then move them tax free and without let or hinderance into the EU through the open Irish border, ignoring all the rules the EU has established about quality, health and safety common standards etc. The EU cannot allow that to happen as it would totally wreck all that it has established for trade with the EU. At the moment the UK is treaty bound to follow the rules as almost all its trade is through treaties established by the EU.
    So that’s just a non starter. The only way Northern Ireland can trade freely with the republic is by remaining in the single market and the customs union, which would oblige them to follow the EU trade rules, which both the Tories and the DUP have ruled out.
    Anyway, if NI remains in the SM and the CU, then why not Scotland, Wales, London.
    So sorry Mr Gray. No-one is making it complicated. IT IS COMPLICATED, and there is no SIMPLE SOLUTION.
    Or there is by staying in the EU, all this bother would be avoided.

  • Peter Martin 5th Dec '17 - 8:56am

    This article looks to be somewhat tongue in cheek, but nevertheless many in the UK don’t see the problem and say the same thing. So can we, for example, have:

    ” an agreement that goods can be brought from Ireland into the UK, or vice versa, without any restrictions.” ?

    Probably not if the EU doesn’t agree. It’s the “vice versa” that’s the problem. Ireland cannot decide that itself. If the EU wants to put tariffs on any imports from the UK then there’s going to have to be a hard border -even if the checkpoints are on the EU side. Those imports could have originated from outside the UK. We possibly, for example, could come to an agreement with New Zealand to import their butter and lamb free of all tariffs.

    But would the EU want to allow it in via a porous border in Ireland?

  • I had hoped the thread was written ‘tongue in cheek’ but, either way, it’s just another fairy tale…. You throw words like ‘free trade’ and ‘open borders’ around with gay abandon…
    Your thread is reminiscent of the euphoria of ‘Leavers’ just after the referendum; everything would be so easy, they need us, etc., etc.

    The old adage about the ‘devil in the detail’ has just met its first real test in the ‘No Surrender’ DUP mentality..

  • Peter Martin 5th Dec '17 - 9:41am

    @ Mick Taylor,

    “ignoring all the rules the EU has established about quality, health and safety common standards etc.”

    The EU doesn’t allow Australian wine into the the EU tariff free. So you are saying the motivation is?

    a) Quality. Not good enough? Too good, possibly?
    b) Health and Saftey. Maybe the EU don’t want us to drink too much?
    c) Common Standards. The wrong shape bottles?
    d) etc What could ‘etc’ be?

  • Peter Martin, Australia charges a 29% Wine Equalising Tax (WET) on imported wine….. So you are saying the motivation is?

  • Brian Evans 5th Dec '17 - 10:22am

    “A … relationship with Europe, one where we can forge close ties while remaining a sovereign nation. A union with our European friends, if you will.” … and, given that sovereignty, per se, was not lost (despite what we are told by those who want ‘out’) by being in the EU, the only way out of the problem is to stay inside.!

  • Peter Martin 5th Dec '17 - 11:04am

    @ expats,

    To spell it out I’m saying the motive of everyone, including Australia, who apply trade tariffs is Protectionism.

    The EU is just another Protectionist Bloc. We can be either Remain or Leave on the EU question but let’s not get too dewy-eyed about Internationalism and the Brotherhood of Man whenever we hear Ode to Joy!

  • @Peter Martin – Protectionism can be a force for good! the question is the intent. As we know fully “Free Trade” is simply a race to the bottom, whereas as fair trade enforced with a degree of protectionism, such as that the UK exercised over US attempts to force free trade on various Carribean islands dependent upon trade in basic products such as bananas, coffee etc., can be a force for good and social change.

  • Richard Underhill 5th Dec '17 - 12:04pm

    We should remember our history. The EEC had faster growth than the UK partly because the original six members, West Germany, France Italy, Belgium, Holland and Luxembourg had abolished trade barriers within the EEC. We won the 1975 referendum, which was intended to be permanent. A grumpy Ted Heath said that he was against referendums (having decided the issue in parliament) as Sir Winston Churchill had been, but, if there was to be a referendum (a constitutional first desired by the late Tony Benn in a Labour government) we must win it. Tories such as Bill Cash MP (Stone) and Daniel Hannan MEP (South-East) are forgetting their history.
    Labour’s policy of “all options on the table” is conveniently vague and flexible. If they are remembering Harold Wilson, they should recall that he eventually came down on the side of the national interest, whereas Jeremy Corbyn was asleep on the job during the 2016 referendum.

  • Richard Underhill 5th Dec '17 - 12:23pm

    The DUP are reluctant to admit that the Irish Republic has anything that Northern Ireland wants or needs, but admitted to the fact that they do buy Guinness. (They also have Guinness ice cream, which I have not seen in the South).
    The negotiations will need to cover pharmaceuticals. Recent publicity has highlighted the fact that Pfizer has a factory in the Republic, which Pfizer says does not pollute the environment.

  • @ David Pocock “The Irish boarder problem is more difficult than you suggest”.

    Are you suggesting some sort of halt to Irish immigration into the Uk ? Do tell.

  • I suspect looking back at David Gray’s articles he may well be pulling our legs. One of his previous comments was

    With the referendum, I agree there were some whoppers on both sides. However, from an economic perspective, it was rare to see leave campaigners using any sort of evidence to back up their claims. It seemed to be primarily ‘We’re Britain! How dare people question our ability to make it on our own!’ which strikes me as a rather childish (if sadly successful) tactic. It’s possible that Brexit will benefit our economy. Highly unlikely, but possible. But if you’re going to make that argument, there needs to be some sort of substance to that claim.

    He may however actually be a committed Brexiteer, and that’s the problem no matter how ironic you make a post it’s bound to be the actual thoughts of a section of Brexiteers. Each with their own personal Brexit, all mutually exclusive, tis sad but true.

  • Good work Frankie! Today has proved, if nothing else, that the line between satire and reality is worryingly thin.

  • Mike Norman 5th Dec '17 - 7:47pm

    Today’s satire is tomorrow’s policy it would seem. Be careful David!

  • O David I bit, you ought to see the comment that got moded. Note to self verify before biting.

  • Peter Watson 6th Dec '17 - 9:45am

    @frankie “Each with their own personal Brexit, all mutually exclusive, tis sad but true.”
    There are a fair few personal Bremains as well. Which one is yours? Which one is the Lib Dems’? The one that Cameron negotiated or what we had before? Ever closer political union? Joining the euro? United States of Europe? Independent England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, London and Yorkshire within the US of E? A single state of Europe? Or maybe moving in the opposite direction with a bit of retrenchment and some immigration control?
    For my own part, like many Lib Dems I was doing alright before 2016 so like many Lib Dems I voted Remain out of self-interest and the status quo suited me.
    Unfortunately though, that status quo was not good enough for some people, but it is disappointing that so much of the ongoing Remain campaign looks like gloating about Brexit making their lives even worse rather than persuading them that their concerns can be addressed by remaining in the EU.

  • Peter Watson 6th Dec ’17 – 9:45am…………… but it is disappointing that so much of the ongoing Remain campaign looks like gloating about Brexit making their lives even worse rather than persuading them that their concerns can be addressed by remaining in the EU…………

    I don’t see much ‘gloating’. What I do see is the slogans of ‘Leave’ being demonstrated as exaggerations, and downright lies, as each month passes…
    However, in my experience, it doesn’t seem to be making much difference. Two of my ‘Leave’ friends have been exchanging e-mails….. Friend 1, “Whatever their motives the DUP have just prevented the govt selling the country down the river.” Friend 2, “Yes, I didn’t expect to be glad of the DUP input.”….

    It seems, for some, any price is worth paying….

  • Philip Knowles 6th Dec '17 - 10:06am

    David Pocock. The ‘Norway option’ is a non-starter. They pay more per head than we do, they have to accept EU regulations (but have no say in the drafting of them) and they have to accept the ECJ. Boris, Liam and Jacob would bring down the Government if that was the option.
    Eire will not accept a hard border between themselves and Northern Ireland – and the Good Friday Agreement says that they can’t – which means free movement into Northern Ireland. That means there must be a hard border between Northern Ireland and Great Britain – which the DUP (and others) can’t accept. To prevent that there needs to acceptance of the Customs Union and the Single Market – which Boris et al won’t accept.

    All this was obvious before the Referendum but no one was listening

  • Roger Cubberley 6th Dec '17 - 12:23pm

    Oh well said. The loss of control to Brussels and and those other skiving Eurocrats has devastated our economy for years. All our brave lads and lassis from Westminster have been able to is legislate on trivial things like, for example: taxes, duties, health and education policy and spend, policing, speed limits and licensing hours, sentencing of criminals, land usage, should we hunt foxes or not, integrated travel policy and infrastructure spend, defence spend and strategy, and a host of other things hardly worth mentioning.
    No wonder Westminster is so keen to be able to do a REAL job for a change. For a start, they can stop people in prison getting the vote! All 85000 of them. That will make a difference to my grandchildren’s future. The good news is though, when Westminster takes control we know our future is in safe hands.

  • So David Gray, you want “an agreement that goods can be brought from Ireland into the UK, or vice versa, without any restrictions”, which is only possible if we stay in customs union/single market, and “an agreement whereby people can move freely between Britain and Europe”, which is only possible if we keep, em, freedom of movement. What you’re actually proposing is a successful non-Brexit.

  • Peter,

    If telling the truth that Brexit is a mess and is making us poorer and less important in the world is gloating guilty as charged. The one thing that united remainers was a belief that Brexit would lead to problems. Well strangely enough on that remain had it right and leave was totally wrong. I get that many leavers voted leave (or should I say screamed it) as a desperate cry to look at us, help us; the sad fact is though nothing is being done for them as Brexit consumes all. I would much rather the political debate was about adequately funding the NHS, the police et al and ensuring no child went hungry (and many other issues), but with Brexit becoming the never ending story they receive no attention or thought. The levers voted for Brexit and as predicted it has become all consuming, much as we all might regret that, while Brexit continues that will continue to be the case.

  • It has been well said that the only successful Brexit is no Brexit. That assumes that you are talking about success in terms of the wellbeing of Britain and Europe. If on the other hand you see success as the accomplishment of the Brexiteers aims, a clean break from the EU and a deregulated economy, then crashing out is the brave choice. You can’t have it both ways though. That would be like a successful bank robbery where the Bank’s customers benefit equally to the robbers.

  • Arnold Kiel 7th Dec '17 - 7:43pm


    The undefined being negotiated by the unprepared in order to get the unspecified for the uninformed.

  • Peter Hirst 8th Dec '17 - 5:33pm

    Being more interested in the process, a successful Brexit would involve more transparency and democracy that we have soon so far. A successful Brexit would mean a contented population knowing their views were informed, sought and implemented. What is the use of a Brexit that we mull over for generations and finally decide we need another go at?

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