Generation Brexit

Nice thought

How we can Reverse Brexit...

Sean Ferguson
Sean Ferguson | Jun 23, 2017 | in Breaking Up/Paying Up

Lets stop kidding ourselves that Brexit is anything other than a car crash. Well, if you're reading this you probably agree. But the point is to start talking to people who don't. And through gentle and always polite conversation, hopefully get them to realise what is really going on.

Brexit was a huge lie. It was peddled by the mainstream media (ostensibly The Sun and the Mail) as some sort of required and necessary "freeing" from invisible constraints. Constraints that didn't exist. These were designed to sell papers.

Immigration is a prime example. We have one of the lowest rates of immigration in the EU. When asked most Brexiteers suggest terrorism as the main reason they want to reduce immigration. Point out that the terrorists are mostly Islamic (no Islamic states exist in the EU) and are born, raised and radicalised here in the UK (most never even visiting the EU).

Yeah but its Poles and Bulgarians too. Well if Tony Blair had accepted the transition arrangements; the wave or surge (one that is very much now over) could have been easily avoided. Plus like it or not our economy relies on migrant workers. From the NHS down to the farmers; both of which are already suffering.

The economy however is the biggest point. We are middle men in this country. We process things and we sell financial services. Brexit means the end of our passporting arrangement. Our economy is therefore at huge risk. Any trade deal we sign, (no exceptions) will be more more onerous than one we have now. It will cost us more to do business.

New markets they then say! Fine we may reply. But do you know the average trade deal takes many many years and we have none. In the EU we don't just have a ready made free market for EU countries, we have all sorts of trade treaties signed between the EU and third countries which allow us to do business at better rates.

"But the Euro is collapsing." Well actually now it isn't and Greece is recovering faster than we are! Plus - we were never part of the Eurozone.

"But all those bad things you said would happen havent happened." Well that isn't true. Everything has got more expensive, GDP has slumped, the pound (our buying power) is still in the doldrums, inflation is up, wages are dropping further. These are slow burning issues that take time to be really felt but they are most certainly occurring.

We must be polite but we must be persistent. Every person you encounter is someone we should be having conversations with. Eventually the consensus for a soft Brexit will grow because hard Brexit would destroy us. And if we have soft Brexit - why leave the EU at all?

Antone Christianson-Galina Jun 23, 2017

I personally agree with you. In what ways do you see the UK pursuing a soft brexit? What would the best case scenario?
What do you think would happen if everything actually falls apart. No deal?

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Sean Ferguson Jun 23, 2017

Personally I can't see a way to effect Hard Brexit now. May has lost her majority and even with DUP its a working majority of 2. Ken Clarke is 50% of that. All it takes is a few more such as Anna Soubry and it is dead in the water. What if there is a Tory MP death or resignation and a by-election is called? If they lose to labour, they lose 2 (Tories -1, Labour +1).

The government knows this which is why Hammond is making overtures about "open borders" and "jobs over immigration" both necessarily implying a softer Brexit. And I genuinely believe most people who voted Leave didn't have leaving the single market in mind. They wanted parliament free from EU interference. Which OK, I disagree with but at least that has an internal logic. Why would you vote to leave a single market when it provides us with so much easy trade? Why say that we can sign agreements with Australia and Canada places that cost a fortune to get goods to and have completely separate financial and legal systems. No. It makes no sense. The country will come around to that. And soft Brexit will become the consensus.

What happens then is a referendum on the final deal - which they will 100% have to do. There will then be a growing pressure to include "remain" because as I said above - why leave the EU at all? The only danger there is the remain vote is split. But to be honest I would take a soft Brexit every time if reversal is still not possible.

Finally 2019? More like 2025 before this is resolved. Time is on our side to build a narrative. A truthful narrative and one that isn't built on media lies.

Jennifer Hodge Jun 26, 2017

I am a strong supporter of a second referendum on whatever deal is finally agreed. This is principally because - as is the case in the divorce of husband and wife - beginning the process does not mean that parties cannot change their minds when the reality of divorce truly sets in. The first referendum set this process in motion, but - as evidenced by the scant regard shown for fact during the campaign - many predictions of what Brexit would mean on both sides were guesses, at best. I believe the public deserve a chance to vote on the final deal negotiated, and after a 'cooling off period' in which the facts and meanings of Brexit are clearer to both sides of the debate.

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Sean Ferguson Jun 26, 2017

Absolutely correct. It's becoming readily apparent to all that the economic consequences of Brexit were not "as advertised" (to put it politely). To say that to proceed with a decision based on that is the only democratic option we have available at our disposal is utter nonsense. You can very clearly make the case that following Brexit based on those "adverts" is decidedly undemocratic.

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Miguel Hernandez Littlewood Jun 23, 2017

I agree with your point. The debate during the campaign was either oversimplified to immigration and the economy (by both Remain and Leave), leaving out a discussion on citizens rights and the environment, or served to introduce false information about the EU ( lies about a future Turkish membership or the unelected bureaucracy imposing decisions on citizens). However, I do not think the possibility for the UK to continue as a member of the EU can work (in the near future, excluding any possibility that it could reapply once this mess is sorted out) as the referendum results should be respected. Reversing the decision could only aggravate the existing political crisis and an increasing distancing between representatives and citizens. Considering how many people feel that they have been cast aside by this representative system, it would only lead to these groups giving up on politics and the Conservative government believing they can speak for them without taking into account their needs and interests. We can only hope for Brexit to be an opportunity for people to participate in politics and voice their opinion on political matters, thus improving the state of democracy in the country.

Sean Ferguson Jun 23, 2017

It's an interesting position and I absolutely take your point. Certainly I am not advocating subverting the referendum decision - Im a democrat first and foremost - but even if you think there will be no second ref that will include remain: do you agree a final yes/no vote on soft brexit will be offered to the public? If so, and that comes back as "no", what position does that put the government in? Surely then they are left with not bothering and hard brexit? The latter would take a decade more.

Miguel Hernandez Littlewood Jun 23, 2017

I am an advocate of a second referendum as the idea of membership of the common market was not included in the first one. The Brexit debate, especially through statements made by the government and many Leave voters, has neglected this point. Therefore it is only understandable that the public has to have another say in the final decision. Whether a soft or even a hard Brexit will be accepted or rejected by the public, only time can tell.

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Arty Hart Jun 23, 2017

Just playing Devil's advocate here, and I'm no staunch Brexiteer but whilst discussion between Remainers and Leavers is healthy as you say, it isnt if you're going to be condescending about it. Some people are well informed and as confident in their opinions as need be - not all people who voted to leave are just idiots misled by headlines from tabloid newspapers. Whilst the majority of the youth vote was to remain, its no good you treating Leavers with pity as if their simple minds cant comprehend your bigger picture.

Anyway, surely if we're middle men it'd be more prosperous for us in the long-run to be middle men between more nations than just European ones? I understand trade deals take time but as the so called 'Brexit generation' time is on our side. Moreover, isn't it better to get any future trade deals right than to simply rush into them and be subject to terms which the electorate may find distasteful - for example, if EU membership did not involve freedom of movement, the likelihood is we would have remained. In what way is the Greek economy recovering faster than we are? Last time I checked they were drowning in debt more than us. Also, you're talking about all the "bad things" that did happen because of Brexit (e.g. the depreciation of Sterling etc), but thats not due to Brexit and the UK leaving the EU because we haven't left yet. So why is that relevant?

Otherwise, completely agree.

Sean Ferguson Jun 23, 2017

Again I would never advocate being condescending or treating well informed brexiteers with anything but respect. The way we win this is facts. The facts are very clearly on our side and we have a great deal of them at our disposal. So

Sean Ferguson Jun 23, 2017

And depreciation would have been good if it had been met with increased global output measured by exports but it's not going that way at all.

Arty Hart Jun 23, 2017

well no it would've been good if the UK didn't meet the Marshall-Lerner conditions etc etc but my point still stands - these impacts are not due to Brexit since Brexit has not occurred yet.

Sean Ferguson Jun 23, 2017

I personally cannot take that position. Businesses are taking decisions now for 3-5 years ahead. And Brexit influenced decisions are in the public domain. Use the FTs Brexit tracker to see what busIness decisions; good and bad have been influenced by Brexit. The balance is clearly in the negative. A 90% drop in nurse applications since Brexit? Farmers screaming about no labourers? As for Marshall Learner - have we ever met that condition since we moved away from manufacturing? Our economy needs re-gearing of course but it will never go back to importation of raw materials with heavy mark ups.

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Antone Christianson-Galina Jun 25, 2017

Status changed to Nice thought

Tollak Bowitz Jul 4, 2017

Before adding a few comments on your last question, how do you understand soft or hard brexit respectively? Much talk by politicians and newspapers during the past few months, including during the election campaign, sadly, been clouded by a "brexit means brexit" approach. And although speculation on the final deal has proliferated, actual details can be difficult to imagine.

That being said, I completely agree with your negative reading of Brexit in general - regardless of the type of agreement. And as you point out in your last question, if it ends up being a 'softer' type (inside single market), you're still leaving behind your sovereignty without getting any representation in return.

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