Tag Archives: why we must stop brexit

Why we must stop Brexit: 1 “Let’s get it done”

After carefully considering the case made by the Leave campaigners ahead of the Referendum, examining the likely consequences of leaving, trying to evaluate the leavers’ motives and the benefits they predicted from leaving, and weighing these against possible disbenefits, I came to the firm conclusion that leaving the EU would be a disaster for the UK.  Despite a number of deficiencies in the European bureaucracy and the federalist tendencies of a few of the European leaders, that conclusion has been reinforced by subsequent events.

 In this first of a series of pieces that will review that evidence and reconsider the disadvantages, as well as the overwhelming benefits for Britain, of Remaining a member of the European community, I examine the superficially appealing Tory slogan, “Let’s get it done.” 

Of course, we all want to get quickly past the hugely damaging ‘Brexit process’, as does the whole of Europe. But Brexit does not ‘get it done’! Brexit would extend the agony for a year or more of trade negotiations with the EU, and that only if the Boris withdrawal agreement is approved by Parliament, an approval that was withheld three times from the rather less terrible May deal.   

The only quick and inexpensive way to ‘get it done’ is not to Brexit at all, an outcome quickly achievable by revoking Article 50.

But how legitimate would it be for Parliament thus ‘to ignore the will of the people’ and vote to Remain? The answer is clear: entirely legitimate. Referenda do not make the laws. Parliament does that; and Parliament always minutely scrutinises proposals for legislation (parliamentary motions, green papers, bills – and referenda!). It is this agonisingly protracted, but vital, Parliamentary scrutiny that has given spurious appeal to the ‘Let’s get it done’ slogan.  

Like everyone else, I’d like a decision as soon as possible, so long as it’s the right decision, which means a decision taken after the most careful scrutiny of an issue whose outcome will affect Britain economically, socially and psychologically for generations to come. Arguably it is the ‘democrats’, claiming that “the people have decided”, who have held up a decision that commanded a Remain majority among their elected representatives. I’m not arguing that the referendum result should be ignored, only that ‘Let’s get it done’ is no good reason on its own for rapidly terminating the scrutiny process in favour of either outcome. It is vital that on this crucial issue we get the right decision, as with any parliamentary bill, but bear in mind that the referendum vote was narrowly decided without access to the voluminous, relevant information that has emerged since it took place.   

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