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This ‘stuck record’ is finally coming to a halt, I promise …

What continues to surprise me is the degree to which, in this post-EU Referendum world, the outcome – together with its implications and the uncertainties as to what it might mean for the UK and its people – has been dominating the media.

I’m referring to the Leavers’ ongoing remorse, anger, frustration and desire to re-run or overturn the result.

But also to the Brexiteers’ puzzlement as how they managed to win, the realisation that there are many different reasons why people voted as they did – and indeed probably as many different forms of potential Brexit outcome as there were reasons for the Brexit vote.

Does anyone really have an idea as to what form of Brexit would be best for the UK, still less would form of Brexit actually suit (or be acceptable to) the majority of people who voted for Brexit?

It’s a hell of a mess.

One factor I don’t have much time for is the apparent degree of conceit and/or misconception relating to the EU held by quite so many people, both within the EU and the UK.

There’s a difference between being involved in something and being committed, of course. Let’s go back to the old joke about what’s the difference in connection to breakfast between a chicken and a pig? The former is ‘involved’ [as in, supplying the egg] but the latter is committed [as in, supplying the bacon].

Of course the 27 EU countries are committed to the EU. They don’t have to think about what directions it is going in; whether it’s all working; or indeed whether even just the Eurozone etc. part of it is, because – whatever the outcome(s) of these – they (the 27 countries) are not, as things stand, going to be leaving it.

They are effectively going to sink or swim with it to the bitter end. Using the previous ‘breakfast’ analogy, they don’t like chickens [i.e. those who might one day hold up their hand, stop the merry-go-round, and get off] … they only want pigs. In that sense, a chicken like the UK, who might point out the invisibility of the Emperor’s new clothes and then leave, wasn’t really welcome, wasn’t ‘wanted on voyage’. After all, it’s far too time-consuming and wearying to have to take chickens with you to a pigs’ convention …

Meanwhile, the Remain argument that turned me off most was that which said “Look, if we stay in we are at least ‘at the table’ and can influence trade, regulations, indeed all decisions, and maybe even – if we keep fighting our corner and building alliances with like-minded countries etc. – we can get the EU to change its ways, set off down a different (the right) road, help it get rid of the rank bureaucracy, the fat-cat commissioners and their bag-carriers … basically get the reform it so desperately needs. On the other hand, if we leave, we’ll have no opportunity to do any of that …”

I experienced an instant ‘eyes glaze over’ every time I heard it being trotted out.

Why? Because the Great Cameron – he who will always be blamed for Brexit for the simple reason that, if the arguments for Remain were really so compelling, he shouldn’t have called an EU Referendum in the first place – went around the EU on his supposedly ‘once and for all’ renegotiation of the UK’s status within the EU … and came away with practically nothing, well nothing that had any substance to it, as a result.

Given that fact, why should any UK voter believe that by staying in the EU – where upon about 70 occasions we had objected to new rules and/or regulations coming in and on all 70 been overruled – we were going to be able to reform the EU?!?

It just wasn’t going to happen, was it?

The EU may – with occasional hiccups and crises upon the way – ultimately one day become a successful European project. But it may also just disintegrate into a disaster.

Does it – will it – really make such a difference whether the UK is part of it or not?

Arguably, if it becomes a disaster, we’ll be better out of it anyway.

The other cop-out that Remainers always rely upon is the ‘It ain’t me, guv’ syndrome.

You know the one. If you belong to a vast faceless dictatorship like the EU and hand it all your decision-making authority, if things work out well, so what?

… Meanwhile, if things work out badly, you can always say “Well, at least it’s not our fault, we’re in the EU and of course it makes decisions without ever listening to our point of view … [and here adding a shrug of the shoulders] … but hey, what can you/we do about it?”

It’s called abrogating responsibility ‘round these parts …



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About Simon Campion-Brown

A former lecturer in politics at Keele University, Simon now lives in Oxfordshire. Married with two children, in 2007 he decided to monitor the Westminster village via newspaper and television and has never looked back. More Posts