What do we re­ally want from Brexit?

Bath Chronicle - - OPINION -

It seems that I must once again point out the ob­vi­ous to Peter Burns af­ter his re­ply to my last let­ter. My let­ter (Septem­ber 27) was a heav­ily edited frag­ment of a much longer ar­gu­ment. How­ever I will just an­swer his one point with facts that have been stated many times be­fore. 1. The Ref­er­en­dum was only ad­vi­sory. 2. David Cameron promised to im­ple­ment the re­sult, but he ran away. His prom­ise can­not bind any sub­se­quent govern­ment. 3. We are a Par­lia­men­tary democ­racy. MPS are not del­e­gates elected to do what the pub­lic say - they are rep­re­sen­ta­tives elected to use their judg­ment in our in­ter­est. Thus we should not be open to mob rule. 4. The ad­vi­sory ref­er­en­dum asked a sim­plis­tic ques­tion with a bi­nary choice. The prob­lem is that no one knows for cer­tain what all the Leave vot­ers were vot­ing for. Some voted to leave at all costs; some voted leave be­cause they be­lieved lies of the Leave cam­paign that we could leave but keep all the ben­e­fits of mem­ber­ship; some be­lieved the lie on the side of the bus about giv­ing the NHS £350mil­lion a week; some felt left be­hind by aus­ter­ity and glob­al­ism and voted to give David Cameron a kick­ing. All th­ese rea­sons and more have been heard. Thus when it turns out that we can­not have our cake and eat it, that North­ern Ire­land is a prob­lem which risks break­ing up the coun­try, that the eco­nomic prospects of leav­ing are poor, many peo­ple have re­con­sid­ered. 5. Be­cause no one knows what type of Brexit was voted for, the Govern­ment is not tied to any par­tic­u­lar sort (or any). Un­for­tu­nately, Mrs May has painted her­self into a cor­ner with her ridicu­lous red lines and is a pris­oner of the lu­natic fringe of her party. Mr Cor­byn has not promised any par­tic­u­lar type of Brexit, but trades union lead­ers are now ask­ing for the soft­est of Brex­its be­cause of the threats to their mem­bers jobs. 6. Democ­racy did not stop in 2016. When the facts be­came known many peo­ple have re­con­sid­ered. De­mo­graph­ics have changed the elec­torate with many new young vot­ers, whose fu­ture is at stake. So to sum up, we prob­a­bly have 3 op­tions :a) Hard Brexit - leave the EU with no deal. The re­sult of this is eco­nomic catas­tro­phe and is only favoured by the head-bangers on the ex­treme right of the Tory party. Not a sen­si­ble op­tion as it threat­ens the unity of the UK as well as eco­nomic col­lapse. b) The Nor­way op­tion - stay in the sin­gle mar­ket and cus­toms union but leave the po­lit­i­cal side of the EU - and give up our part in de­ci­sion mak­ing. This would solve the North­ern Ir­ish prob­lem, pre­serve UK unity and sat­isfy the Ref­er­en­dum vote. c) Re­main in the EU and re­tain all our cur­rent priv­i­leges - the best and cheap­est op­tion. So, Peter, I hope that clears up your con­fu­sion on the re­al­ity of Democ­racy. Nigel Jones We­ston Bath

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