Anybody who has been following this blog for any length of time will know that I didn’t want Britain to vote to leave the EU. I thought membership of the EU was in Britain’s long term interest – I still do. However, this wasn’t the argument that prevailed in the referendum and I have come to accept this – after all this is what the the country voted for and I have accepted it and i’m trying to make the best of what I consider to be a bad job.
I have watched with great dismay as our current government have proceeded to make a bigger and bigger mess of the whole process of withdrawal. I have tried to give them some leeway because no one has ever tried to do what Britain is going to do. This being said you do have to wonder at the apparent ineptitude of Theresa May who is giving a really good impression of not being able to organise a piss up in a brewery. The loyal opposition has made a better job of not committing to anything which will only take them so far and that point is now about to be reached. If they are to be considered as a potential government then they will have to provide a much clearer answer to the key Brexit questions of the day. Jeremy Corbyn bathing in the adulation of a stoned Glastonbury crowd is simply not good enough and this of course is when Labour displays just as much disharmony as the Conservatives.
The one thing that I cannot understand is why so many people still seem to think that we can somehow stay part of the customs union and single market and not be part of the EU. They seem to still not to have accepted the result of the referendum where by a clear majority Britain voted to leave the EU and being part of the single market and customs union only works to Britain’s advantage when it is part of the EU. We voted to leave the EU so therefore we cannot be part of either and to suggest otherwise is undemocratic in my view. This doesn’t mean that there is a huge amount of wiggle room to be had so that some form of trade deal between Britain and EU can be struck that enables both parties to prosper. Britain will not doubt have to pay extra money in some form or another – my suspicion will be levies to continue to use certain authorities but this will also mean that the EU going to have to provide something in return. Hopefully with an implementation period now firmly part of the British thinking it does give extra time to negotiate things.
Things can and may well go horribly wrong and at the end of any implementation period we might end our relationship with the EU badly but I suspect things might not be quite as bad as many on the remain side have painted and perhaps the biggest loser won’t be Britain but rather the Republic of Ireland who could get wholly screwed if things do go wrong. I am hopeful (naive?) that this won’t happen and that come the next decade we might have a much more productive relationship between the EU and Britain.