Brexiteers say – used to say, repeatedly, that leaving the EU would offer us a better future, quickly, easily and absolutely. It doesn’t because, apart from the fact that May’s Cabinet can’t even agree with itself, on any current world-trajectory, it doesn’t really exist. Not as a roaring success that will make all the divisive pain, the time and the cost worth the risk, anyway.
Every day brings more depressing confirmation of how Brexit is a term for the chasm between the promises people were falsely sold and the dire consequences of what they will actually get.
The options, though, are the same as were known before the vote: basically Norway, Canada and WTO. Not one is better than full EU membership. The consequences are the same as they were before the vote: the way we leave the EU will determine our relationships with the rest of the world; leave ‘well’ or leave badly, we will be a desperate little fish in a very big sea of sharks.
Remain was never about how marvellous the EU is but about how relatively bad all the Brexit options are and the dreadful calibre of the politicians to whom it has been entrusted. Remainers can tick their share of “left behind” boxes. Remainers, too, protest decades of socio-economic cynicism and ineptitude in Britain’s leaders. They also recognised that this was the result of perfectly rectifiable domestic government policies, not the EU, not immigrants, not the ECJ… Remain knew that to choose to stay was not to accept a flawed status quo but to participate, heartily, pushing for reforms in our interest. Those paying attention saw that this was possible, whatever Farage et al said.
Still, between its duplicitous architects à la Minford Mob & Legatum Institute and its fools’ puppets, the Lexiteers Stuart, Hoey and Field, Brexit is going strong. The right-wing Press is vociferous, the BBC and media, generally, are too slow and even supine; voters who did more than cross a box then promptly forget about it, are highly frustrated. Anyone whose motive is – on either side – the well-being of both individuals and the whole and is paying attention, is rightly very anxious.
Brexiteers keep making the same incorrect statements and asserting the same silly fantasies. Lay-Brexit voters keep parroting them. Journalists keep letting them. Remainers keep watch. And the clock keeps ticking.
Brexit stinks but Brexiteers can neither seem to bear the stark reality nor the responsibility for its toxic fallout. Whether everybody else can continue to bear the Brexiteers, remains to be seen.