Brexit deal vote required
Sir – Of all the many annoying things said about Brexit, the most annoying I find is “the will of the people” used as a pretence of democracy. Perhaps it is to some extent, but doubtful.
Maybe it is “the will of half ” of the people who were permitted to vote and who, for mystifying reasons, believed the blatant lies told by leave campaigners.
But what of the nearly half (or two thirds in Scotland) that voted to stay. The most famous distortion of reality from leave being the mythical £350m a week for the NHS that Boris Johnson has recently revived in a desperate bid to rebuild collapsing support for a mad form of Brexit.
The Office for Budget Responsibility actually calculates that Brexit will damage public finances by £292 million a week by 2020 and the government will have £164 million a week less to spend.
I predicted at the time of the referendum that the pound would be worth less than one euro in a year or so and that a leave vote was voting for at least a 10 per cent pay cut short term and worse in the future.
With inflation and the cost of buying euros for holidays this figure is rapidly approaching. I got 1.40 euros for a pound just before the Brexit vote and the news recently reported an all time low airport exchange rate of 86 cents to a pound. We have escaped the worst of the price rises largely because other EU countries have been taking the hit for our mistakes.
If the leave campaign had said that the value of the pound would collapse would people have voted to leave? Yes there are winners in the lower value of sterling, UK tourism for example, but most people are worse off.
If the leave campaign had told the truth about the NHS – which has the highest staff shortages in living memory – would people have voted to leave?
Immigration is a big worry for many but the immigrants most people feared at the time of the referendum were not EU citizens, and perhaps with all the terrorist attacks in the past year the fears may be well founded. However, leaving the EU has no affect on this issue.
But making the UK unattractive to EU workers and reducing their pay by poor exchange rates has done the trick of cutting migrant numbers far more effectively than regulation.
As it was largely the English elderly “shafting the young”, to quote Vince Cable, I believe over 16s should have been included to make the outcome remotely valid, as they will certainly be the worst affected.
In fact fairer to give the young the vote and exclude older people, many of whom will not be around to endure the worst of the consequences. I am not having a go at the old as I am 67 and English by birth.
The only solution to the impossible problem of Brexit is Nick Clegg and Tony Blair’s view that a second referendum should be called once we know the deal we will get. If people still vote to leave how would that be a problem for leave supporters?
Even if I believed leaving the EU was better for us (and I loath a lot about the EU), it cannot be done – certainly not without disastrous consequences.
There is far too much pain in Brexit, for too little gain.