Just a game of Chequers. . .

In this photo taken Wednesday, June 20, 2018, anti-Brexit, pro-EU supporters hold placards during a protest near the Houses of Parliament in London. The divisions opened up by the 2016 referendum have not healed, but hardened, splitting Britain into two camps: leavers and remainers. Almost the only thing the two groups share is pessimism about the way Brexit is going. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

A former Liberal Democrat town councillor and still an active party campaigner, PETER WATTS is perturbed at what he sees as confusion and obfuscation apparent in (some of) the Conservative government’s ranks. We would welcome contrary points of view.

AT LAST WE HAVE HEARD what Theresa May means by Brexit. Her “clear red lines” are mere blurry blue ones, a set of words and phrases formulated to hold together her divided cabinet and her warring party.

They are, I believe, the product of ignorance, arrogance and incompetence. After all, in the days BC (Before Chequers) we already thought we knew much of what Brexit meant; an average cost of £900 per household, lost growth and investment, lost tax revenue, lost world status and a lost opportunity to develop the European Union.

Now, with US President Trump’s ever-clearer attack on multilateral organisations, perhaps even those opportunities have gone for years to come, and HE won’t be riding to the UK’s rescue.

Hand in hand. . . but will Mrs May and her beau still be so close the morning after Brexit?

Consider the likelihood that leading Brexiteers might well not have wanted the outcomes for which many Leave supporters voted in a justified, if often misdirected, scream. And consider what we are left with. . .

Brexit does NOT yet mean an efficient, useful and humane immigration policy, nor fairer wages, nor more secure jobs, nor decentralisation from London.

It will certainly not encourage less major tax avoidance  nor maintain – much less tighten – controls over misbehaving multinationals; neither will it end austerity and rejuvenate public services.

It will, moreover, do little to produce ‘cleaner’ politicians or a more responsible media, nor will it encourage more influence by the public over the national debate, given that real reform of our political system is almost certainly a dead duck.

What we will be left with is a less robust economic system and a jingoistic hankering after often ‘iffy’ past imperial glories rather than a national pride in a vision for the future.

Remember: thirty million people DIDN’T vote Leave; seventeen million DID. If we stop Brexit without urgently and convincingly addressing the above points, Britain will remain bitterly divided.

On a steepening downward slope.


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