It is becoming increasingly clear that exiting the EU is not in our best interests and will do great harm. The Japanese ambassador sums this up clearly in There won’t be a deal better than the single market. We are for Japan a main channel for their export of cars into Europe as he says.
Some compromise like remaining in the single market or customs union will not give us the seat at the EU table that is in both our interests and those of the EU. We need to continue to exercise our leadership as we have done for many years. On our own, a small country, we will have less influence in the world. That gives us more power in the world than if we are outside, not less.
The repeated mantra “It’s the will of the people” is propaganda, an untruth. Only 37% of electorate, representing 26% of “the people”, voted for Brexit. We also need to challenge “when we leave the EU”, as if it were a foregone conclusion, another piece of propaganda.
So 74% did not vote for Brexit. Many parts of the United Kingdom did not want to leave. There were huge differences depending on age. Sixteen and seventeen year olds, amongst those likely to be most adversely affected, had no vote. It is clear that a referendum was inappropriate for such a complex issue. And it was explicitly advisory. Most MPs, about 73%, are in favour of Remain.
Furthermore there are grave concerns about whether the referendum was legitimate. Did voters have, could they have had the abundant information we have now about the harm it would do and is already doing to our economy and many other aspects of our society? For example the dire effects on the NHS, skill shortages hampering our industries and many areas that are already emerging. There are also grave concerns about the legitimacy of the referendum- for example funding and the part played by social media manipulation
We know that the Brexit vote was in part a protest about the consequences of an economy that had failed to meet the needs of many people for over a generation. We know that young people will suffer most. We know that our cultural industry and many more will suffer. Polls show a large and increasing majority of young people are against Brexit – the then 16 to17 year olds did not have a say nor do they now.
Unlock Democracy believes the EU Withdrawal Bill is a power grab, plain and simple that will trample on our rights, puts more power in the hands of Westminster and threatens hard-won devolution settlements in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales and it must be resisted. They are asking for funds to continue their campaigns .
There is confusion in the Tory government. It is like a nest of vipers. We need an about turn. The situation requires the majority of MPs of whatever party to demand this about turn. And the government to say: sorry, we were wrong. It is now clear that Brexit is a mistake. Where is the courage to do what’s best for the nation?
What can you do? Urge your MP to speak up, challenge the mantra “It’s the will of the people” and demand an about turn and a new approach to reforming the European Union. And support Unlock Democracy http://www.unlockdemocracy.org/
Bruce Nixon is author of The 21st Century Revolution: A Call to Greatness