Just a few thoughts on your previous post Darlogramps:
Trouble is, remaining in the single market and customs union means you have to accept EU rules on just about everything, which includes political aspects such as freedom of movement, accepting ECJ oversight on dispute resolution, impacting ability to sign trade deals and so on, and so on. And you'd be accepting rules but having no influence other them. To me, you either remain in the European Union, or are completely independent of it. Not some halfway house that leaves the country trapped, accepting EU rules but unable to do anything about it. The Chequers Plan goes about as close as you can get without being in the single market or the customs union. .
Freedom of Movement is misleading in a sense, as the UK already has the powers to remove EU citizens from the UK after 3 months if they don’t have a job or means of financial support. Some EU countries do this, the UK never has under any government.
The UK isn’t ruled by the EU, the UK makes the majority of its own rules and laws and also plays a leading part in forming those EU rules which affect us and all countries.
On purely financial terms, if the UK leaves the Single Market and Customs Union, EVERY single trade agreement of one type or another we have with the rest of the world stops at 11pm on 29/3/2019 – there are over 750 of them! Many of these deals with poorer countries are already free trade agreements using EBA (Everything But Arms). A single WTO deal takes on average 8 years to complete. Every financial institution reports that the UK will be much worse off under any other deal, but especially under WTO rules (those rules get everywhere) or No Deal – with the North East being the worst hit in the UK under any deal. The best deal available to us is to Remain. We already have a special deal on opt-outs on Schengen, joining the Euro currency and financial rebate over our contributions which no-one else has.
That is not the clean break from the EU people expect when they instructed the Government they wanted to leave (and like it or not, under the terms of the referendum, a majority did vote to leave). As someone who voted leave (and would do so again) that is unacceptable to me. Overbearing EU laws, combined with their lack of accountability, and the sheer arrogance of institutions like the Commission (who, for example, essentially blackmailed Greece into gutting their own public sector, but faced no democratic recourse from it), are the main reasons I voted leave. Remaining in the single market and customs union, essentially under EU control, would not resolve this. .
I suspect that very few people in this country truly understood the vast amount of things affected by Brexit or the complexity of the issues concerned. I also suspect that very few could discuss the Single Market and Customs Union with any great authority, plus the effects on the UK of leaving them.
For anyone following the Brexit debate over the past 30 months, and particularly with the recent decisions by the Electoral Commission to fine the Leave side the maximum amount available within their powers for “illegal” funding by over £500,000 – plus also referring a number of Leave people to the Metropolitan Police for these illegalities; and now just this week Arron Banks and Liz Bilney to the National Crime Agency regarding the source of millions of pounds of donations and loans. It wouldn’t seem “democratic” to proceed with Brexit anyway until the results of these investigations are completed. Who wants democracy bought and paid for by unknown groups with a very specific agenda (too long to go into here).
Can you give specific examples of these “overbearing laws” and how they affected us? The UK, between 1999 and 2016, voted successfully 95% of the time on EU-level laws, abstained 3% and lost 2%. The UK has been at the heart of decision-making within the EU, not as some kind of second-rate country having things imposed on them.
How, specifically, are the EU not accountable? As a comparison, currently I can’t vote for the Head of State (the monarch), the Prime Minister, any of the Cabinet, any members of the House of Lords or any of the Civil Service.
As for the idea of a second referendum, the question I ask to you is - why aren't people who voted leave calling for it (there are a handful, but the overwhelming majority of those wanting a second referendum are those who voted to remain). Therefore it's just easy to tar those who want a second referendum as being sore losers - that's where it comes from. .
Sore losers makes no sense, they would have to have something to be sore about, there have to be specific reasons. When following the Brexit debate since before the vote, the Remain argument contends that our country will be much worse off politically and financially by leaving the EU – or to put a positive slant on it, we’re better off staying in the EU and using our influence and power to make changes for the better.
Why shouldn’t the people be entitled to vote on the deal (or no deal) eventually reached? The promises made at the time were of a deal better than we already had; “easiest deal in history”; “we hold all the cards”; “the EU will beg us for a deal”; “Absolutely nobody is talking about threatening our place in the single market” (Daniel Hannan); “what’s wrong with a Norway or Switzerland deal?” (Farage), etc. None of these are talked about now but were promised. The people are entitled to see the end result and be allowed to give their verdict on it, to also include Remain.
And to use your own logic, what if in two years time, we're fed up of the lack of accountability and arrogance of the EU institutions, that we decide we want another referendum? We can't keep having referendum after referendum because it is politically and economically destabilising. Ultimately, we have to make a choice and that is what all politicians told us in 2016 we would be doing. .
Democracy doesn’t stop, it’s a process not an event. We’ve had a further election in 2017 and those politicians bailed out immediately after the vote. The previous election was only in 2015 – which is less time between the referendum and now. “Countries which cannot change their minds cease to be democracies” – David Davis (ex-Brexit Secretary). Farage told the Mirror in 2016 before the vote: “In a 52-48 referendum this would be unfinished business by a long way.”
As for more democracy being threatened by more democracy, well I've never known a time where there's been so much animosity from each side of the debate towards their opponents. The political atmosphere really is quite toxic and people have lost the ability to be civil towards each other. I bet a pound to a penny, someone gives me a sarcastic, patronising, insulting response to this post, for instance.
Another referendum to my mind would only compound the toxicity we have right now. .
Who knows what a further vote (on the deal) would bring, but denying that vote is suppressing democracy and solving nothing. And there are plenty of Leavers who say Leave would win again with a bigger margin. If that was the case, I think the most hardened Remainer would then have to accept it. Though it doesn’t prevent people working towards rejoining again at some time in the future if they so wish – that’s democracy. But the essence is if the government’s deal / no deal scenario is voted down in Parliament, then the only solution is a People’s Vote.
As for Government incompetence, history won't judge the May Government well for her decision to trigger Article 50 without having a clear idea of her desired end state for Brexit Britain. It took 15 months for her to decide what she wanted - the Chequers Plan - which is utterly ludicrous. And she's compounded it time after time. Not coming up with a workable Irish border solution being another example. .
I agree, history won’t judge May and the Tories at all well and the strength of that judgment will depend, initially, on the next couple of years and HOW Brexit is enacted in that time. Then in the long-term of how well / badly the UK succeeds in the world in many different areas. Triggering Article 50 with no preparation using a binary (and advisory-only) vote on such complex issues as unpicking years and years of being part of the biggest trade and political partnership in the world is unforgiveable. David Davis claiming there were scores of Brexit Impact Assessments in “excruciating detail”, then lying to say there weren’t any only to admit later on there were assessments – but only after being forced to by Parliament. Doesn’t sound like taking back control, more like handing Henry VIII powers to the Executive. That’s not my kind of democracy.
Having said that, when you look at the Article 50 process, it's heavily stacked in the EU's favour. And then she's had to deal with ideologues like Rees-Mogg and the self-interested game players like Boris and Corbyn. So in that sense, I actually think May's resilience in the face of that will lend her some credit. It's telling that all the polling suggests while May hasn't done a great job, generally the public don't see anyone who'd do a better one.
We are the ones resigning from the club, we’re not being thrown out. The club makes the rules and looks after all its constituent members – it’s our club until we leave. We are then classed as a third country (not third world country). The EU would love us to stay (not just for the contributions we give – which are a tiny part of our annual GDP). The UK is a rule-maker and influencer at the top end of the EU with France and Germany. We also enjoy the combined power and strength of the EU membership in the world. We’re giving that up for . . ?