“Leave the EU” said the deluded British People. And now some ask for Article 50 to be triggered without any delay. They are reacting to the ruling of the High Court that found that fundamental laws mean that Theresa May’s plan to invoke Royal Prerogative instead of a vote in Parliament is not legal. The Government does not know yet what they would do. The Prime Minister is the person who set the date for the trigger, now Parliament has the responsibility to enact laws that prevent this insane and now unsupported (by the majority of the public) juggernaut issue. Brexit will wreak havoc with this country or it will irretrievably change it into a less familiar strangeness than immigration ever did. If the Government are secretly having discussions with the USA on post-Brexit trans-Atlantic trading concepts (without actually negotiating) then they assume they have a market to export to, rather than one where we can import our fresh vegetables, wine, cars, fashion and save the consumer a lot of money. The EU and the British public will both be damaged. The most wealthy will benefit from market manipulation opportunities. Governments competing to lower corporate tax rates guarantee the continued levels of Government debt now chronic in Western economies.
The Leave vote was driven by promises and reasons that will never be delivered (the £350 million per week for the NHS, increased economic opportunity, access to world markets in the short or medium term). This is the worst change in British politics, say other British people. Over 29 million people did not vote leave, it was only 27% of the voting public that did which is a failed plebiscite. The referendum was a failure.
The referendum was just a snapshot, it is being talked about as an “instruction” that “must be followed” which is simply a fallacy. What the hell is wrong with our national debate? The objections to another referendum? The stupid and invalid argument “you just want to keep asking the question until you get the answer you are looking for” lacks logic. What people say one year is not necessarily the same as what they say at a different time. We have General Elections every few years. Conditions change. Political parties evolve or devolve. We have an occasional say about general direction and then we entrust full-time law-makers to do their job correctly.
But what direction should MPs take when faced with the decision on how to, when to, if to trigger Article 50? A simple vote to reflect the “will of the people” simply enforces the lies and prejudice of the referendum. We can do so much better than being dictated to by reaction. Opinions are likely to change when people start to realise the consequences of Brexit. Public opinion is fluid to that extent.
The real issue is what is best for the country. Politicians need the time and freedom to exercise a consultative approach and find out what is best for everyone. This is a complex process, involving many divergent interests and sectors. It is not a progression that should be rushed into by a singular entity like the Office the Prime Minister. Article 50 negotiations are not trade deals, but the establishing of political relationships.
What is best for the country is not Brexit. The Government seems hell-bent on implementing the ill-informed view that the problems faced by this country originate from the EU. It is a long tradition in English political life to mislead the masses. The Tories are guilty of following an agenda that is nothing short of destructive based on a vote for simply “leave the EU” without any definition of what we are headed toward. It seems obvious to many that the Tories are trying to privatise the NHS, are trying to reduce social assistance to the poor, have privatised education and reduced the state while leaving the country in growing debt.
Unfortunately, the Tories are taking advantage of a weak opposition, a divided country and a dysfunctional Parliament. The convenience of the “public will” expressed marginally in the referendum is not a reflection of an informed electorate. Democracy is not a system of government, it is a system of guaranteeing the impermanence of power.
Under Theresa May, this country is headed for very difficult times. It is the responsibility of our elected representatives to represent the best interests of their constituents. Not necessarily what the majority think reactively. Life is more complex than the binary choices given in the referendum. It is now clearly up to the members of parliament to do their jobs. It is not just debating or merely voting. It involves knowing what their electorate needs to drive its economic and cultural success. It involves making informed decisions.