Vote remain so we don’t have to bother about Brexit again

by Hugo Dixon | 19.05.2019

If we quit the EU, our politicians will be obsessing about bloody Brexit for years. The only way to stop that is to stop Brexit.

The country is crying out for our politicians to move on from Brexit. It’s three years since the referendum and they are talking about nothing else. They are doing nothing else.

But it’s a mistake to think that we can fix the country’s real problems if only we get out of the EU. The agony will go on and on. That’s true whether we quit with a deal (as the prime minister wants) or crash out with no deal (what Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage want).

If we leave with a deal, all we will have done is signed our divorce papers. We won’t have agreed our future relationship with the EU. Even if our politicians could agree on what they wanted from that, it would take years to nail down the details of a comprehensive trade deal.

But the politicians won’t agree. Different factions of the Conservative party will fight like ferrets in a sack. So will the Labour party’s factions. There will be at least one more general election before we have a stable government that is in a position to negotiate with the EU.

If we crash out with no deal at all, things will be even more chaotic. Maybe the economy will take such a plunge that we will be forced to sue for terms with the EU. This really would be national humiliation. Or maybe we will soldier on with misplaced Dunkirk spirit, grimly determined to push through the suffering that our dishonest politicians have helped inflict upon us. Either way, we certainly won’t be able to stop bothering about Brexit.

On the other hand, if we stop Brexit, we can start fixing the country’s real problems. Our politicians will have the bandwidth to do so. They will also have more money – as our economy will be bigger than under any Brexit scenario.

We can fix our broken NHS – and social care for the elderly.

We can fix our housing crisis.

We can fix child poverty.

We can fix our towns that have been starved of investment for decades.

We will also have much more power to fix global issues – especially the climate change crisis.

We will be a powerful member of a powerful global bloc – not a mid-sized player in a world dominated by bullies such as Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin.

We will only stop Brexit if our MPs decide to do so – or ask us whether we still want it in a People’s Vote.

So we need to take every opportunity to send them a powerful message that this is what we want. That’s why all pro-Europeans should vote on Thursday for a party that explicitly backs a People’s Vote – the Lib Dems, Greens or Change UK (or SNP in Scotland and Plaid Cymru in Wales).

Note: this list does not include Labour, which is sitting on the fence.

Demand a vote on the Brexit deal

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This article was amended shortly after publication to add a mention of Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin, and add some hyperlinks .

Edited by Luke Lythgoe

10 Responses to “Vote remain so we don’t have to bother about Brexit again”

  • In your article, Hugo, you said:

    “They [the government] will also have more money – as our economy will be bigger than under any Brexit scenario.”

    Nothing wrong with the text except that if you had said:

    “Businesses would once again invest in the UK economy, be able to create more jobs and as a consequence, enable the government to generate more tax revenue required to pay for public services”.

    This would have been a lot stronger, emphasising where tax revenue comes from.

    We all know some people cling to the utopia of “magic money trees” to pay for everything – just reminding your audience of where it comes from isn’t a bad idea?

  • You say “But it’s a mistake to think that we can fix the country’s real problems if only we get out of the EU.” and that is so very true.

    We use it on the street sometimes when campaigning and leafletting. Ask a leaver what this country’s problems are and broadly we agree – NHS, Social Care, Housing, Education, Knife Crime and so on. Then ask him or her how Brexit will help solve any of these. You usually have to wait a long time for a reply, and when it comes it doesn’t usually relate to any of those problems.

    I was told yesterday by a member of the main Leave party that the UK’s GDP was lower than that of most of the other larger EU members. We agreed that it was so. When I asked what it was that the EU did to cause that I was – eventually – told that one reason was the GDPR rules.

    No, I didn’t understand it either – but then nor did he.

  • What a sad joke that the remain factions, in true style, could once again not decide to team up properly and fight Fartage’s hot air in a well-organized, properly planned, concerted and united manner. Watch him once again effortlessly grab the hearts of the Rule Britannia Land of Hope and Glory brigade. Yet I so very much hope that the remain message did actually get through to at least some of the dimmest Brexiteer heads. But I doubt. Very much.

  • What on earth has a measure desiged to protect privacy got to do with GDP. Maybe the ‘well informed’ BREXTEER saw a couple of initials and could only conclude that GDP and and GDPR were the same. I am so bored with the ignorance of these people.

  • The sad truth is that many leavers believe that if the UK gets out of the EU, everything will be wonderful. As one said on this forum, ‘he believes in the country and we will blossom’. It is so naive. These guys don’t consider evidence or facts because their prejudices run so deep that reasoning is not part of their make-up. They also cannot see that Farage, Redwood, Cash etc are NOT on their side. They have ulterior motives which have NOTHING to do with social equality, welfare, education, libraries, sure-start centres or anything else.
    The more I see of Farage the more I see of Trump and one Adolf Hitler. The Weimar government failed and there was so much anger about hyper-inflation and the Treaty of Versailles that 46% voted Nazi in the 1933 election. Not a majority but big enough for Hitler to join with the National Party to take control of the Reichstag. In some ways it was understandable. Like Farage, Hitler lied and promised the German people prosperity but how many of them knew about Hitler’s racism and lust for power? How many realised that their vote would lead to a dictatorship, another war in 1939 and the division of their country from 1945-1989?
    Hitler held ‘rallies’ at Nuremberg where the crowd was warmed up before he entered and spouted his vile message. I have seen the same with Farage on a smaller scale. The crowd is whipped up almost into a frenzy and then Nig makes his entrance posing as the answer to every problem they have. They only have to leave the EU and that’s it. He has no policies but is racist and anti-immigration. As Hugo says, if the UK leaves the UK we have no idea where it will all end up.
    The other parallel is that the international scene was weakened in the period 1919-39 because the USA retreated into itself and refused to join the League of Nations. Similarly, Trump has declared ‘America first’ and wishes to destroy international bodies such as NATO and the EU. He is also in the process of provoking a trade war with China and building a wall along the Mexican border.
    It is a very, very worrying situation and if Brexit goes ahead we do not know what disasters await this country. Why don’t the Leavers realise this? “Loving your country and believing in making Britain ‘great’ again’ is a flimsy foundation for leaving the EU. People have lost their sense of reason and have become immersed in a frenzy of hatred and racism.
    Brexit must be stopped. It will ruin the country.

  • I agree Brexit must be stopped but also important is to contain populism in the rest of the EU. It is the EU that is most precious, even more than Britain. In fact Britain could endanger the EU if it sends large numbers of Farages to Brussels. Imagine if you had a dog lovers club where up to half of the members hated dogs and wanted to exterminate them. Totally bizarre and unacceptable.

  • You are so right, Hugo, about ‘you ain’t seen nothing yet’ after a Brexit – either no deal or a version of May. There will be years and years more of negotiation, this time with Brussels and British politics tangled up together. The government hardly did any negotiation at all over the Political Declaration since it was so vague and legally/operationally imprecise. As a voice from Brussels one can say that five more years might suffice, but more if quitting the customs union means parallel negotiations with 101 foreign countries and WTO.

    So May’s ‘the people want to get on with it’ is massively right and wrong at the same time. This argument deserves to zoom up front this week before the EP election.

  • Very strange comments John.

    If Brexit is stopped then there will undoubtedly be even greater numbers of Farages sent to Brussels. Surely if Populists (as you like to call them) are contained in Europe then we truly are on our way to a (dare I say) fascist totalitarian organisation???? Containment of populism (left or right) can only be achieved by adhering to democratic decisions.
    The EU is more precious than the nation state…………..scary!!!!!!!

  • Peter,
    On Thursday the Brexit Party may get as high as 35% of the vote. But that is it. Most people aren’t taken in by Farage and his single issue party. He may succeed in sucking all the hard brexit believers out of the other parties which won’t be a bad thing as it will be clear just how strong the point of view is. However, unless 35% is greater than 65% he will have no mandate for his vision for Brexit though I concede he might be able to be a pain in Brussels for a while, though not that long if he actually was to get his way. And if he doesn’t get his way he will still then have this embarrassing issue of having to come up with an actual policy.

  • It is vital we get out on 23rd May and send the right message to the rest of Europe.
    Brexit is a failed experiment which was never going to work. Even committed Brexit politicians seem to have given up making predictions about the economic future and of public services. Politicians like Farage cling to the ‘betrayal, traitor’ narrative. That’s all they’ve got left.
    We have to back a party that is unambiguously unafraid to say they think Brexit was a grave mistake. Labour have been hedging their bets for too long over this. In England that means voting for Lib Dem, Change UK or Green.
    If we send the wrong message back to Brussels, many in Europe will give up on us, rightly saying we have learned nothing from the last 3 years.