The United Kingdom is not going to leave the European Union.
Despite the fact that a majority of those who voted in the 2016 referendum voted to leave, it isn’t happening. Not in March 2019 or at any other time.
It isn’t going to happen because the UK is currently run – as is the EU – by a political elite that considers itself above the ordinary citizen. This political elite knows best. It is superior to the rest of us. Yet this political elite in the United Kingdom is composed of people who have been propelled into their position by those very same ordinary citizens – the voters of the UK.
This political elite are of course, members of the two Houses of Parliament. One house is that of the House of Lords – and not a single member of that house has been elected. Every ‘Lord’ in it is so either because they inherited their place or they have been appointed to it by those very same members of the elite that now occupy (or previously occupied) the other house; the House of Commons.
That house is, or supposed to be, occupied by people who are put there by the voters of the UK, in each constituency across the country. And the country by the way, for those who conveniently overlook this fact, is made up of voters in England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and those places that also have voting rights – including the Republic of Ireland, with whom the UK has reciprocal voting rights.
What that means is that MPs have two responsibilities; the first is to the people who voted for them, the people who live in their constituencies. The second, having been given their (rather well-paid) jobs by those people, is to the country as a whole.
At one point I did consider standing as an MP myself. I went through the process of becoming an MP, which included an interview with one of the party high-ups whose job it was to conduct that interview - I passed. At the end of that process, I was duly informed that I was able to apply for selection in any constituency. I eventually decided not to since holding those elected to account remains more equable by staying as an ordinary citizen.
One of the questions I was asked was, ‘Would I go against the party leader and official party policy?’ My reply was that I would if a majority of my constituency members demanded that I do so. Having said that, there was also that second obligation; that of my responsibility to the country as a whole.
Put another way, if, as in the case of a referendum, a majority of people across the UK voted for something, even if I disagreed with the result and even if a majority in my constituency disagreed, I would have an obligation to respect the result. It is something of a balancing act. Yes, of course I would have the right to voice my disagreement and yes, I would have the right to advance the will of the majority in my particular constituency but the result of a referendum is still the result of the majority vote over the entire UK.
It is known as democracy. It means that, even though we might not agree, if we lose a vote, we have to accept it. And having done so, we then have to ensure that the vote of the majority across the UK is carried out.
Which means the UK leaves the EU.
There is nothing to stop those who voted against leaving campaigning differently. There is nothing to stop those who voted to remain in the EU campaigning to rejoin it at some point in the future. That is also democracy. It is the right of people to voice their opinions, to try and change people’s minds. And however many of them there are, that right must also be respected. The minority must be listened to.
Which also means that the deal currently under discussion, the deal that says how the UK leaves the EU will, and must, have compromises. There cannot, indeed must not, simply be a situation where the UK merely turns it back in the EU and walks away from it. The so-called ‘No Deal’.
What would that achieve? Precisely nothing.
Yes, the UK could then trade, in theory at least, with EU member countries using World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules, as much of the rest of the world does. The exception to this is those countries that trade with the EU using a specific trade deal, like Canada.
But a specific trade deal has not yet been talked about. It has yet to be negotiated, This is where the confusion comes to the fore. As I said in my previous commentaries, everybody is going on (and on) about ‘The Deal’ as if it is the be-all and end-all of everything. It isn’t.
All the current deal does is govern how the UK actually leaves the EU. That’s all.
It is not perfect. Far from it in fact. It involves those comprises I mentioned and it has to. It has to because there is no ‘perfect’ solution. There can only be compromises. And it is those compromises that make things work. Unless we – and the EU – are prepared to make those compromises, neither will get very far.
Without such compromises, what might be the worst case scenario? Let’s speculate for a moment. The worst that might happen is no trade of any kind; mass business bankruptcy and equally huge job losses on both sides of the channel; EU citizens in the UK deported and UK citizens forcibly thrown out of the EU; the channel tunnel closed; no flights between the UK and EU member countries…oh, wait – an agreement for air services between the UK and the EU has already been signed…(as it has, again already, between both the US, Canada and the UK).
So let’s take that as an example as to why the big issue is being apocalyptically used. If the UK and the EU have already reached an agreement over air services…then why on earth can we not do the same in every other area? Why should the ‘backstop’ be subject to such doom-laded predictions?
It doesn’t have to be.
It is so gloomy for one reason and one reason only and one that I have advanced previously; the posturing and self-promotion of those Members of Parliament, those members who have been given their jobs, and their generous salaries by us, the ordinary people of the UK.
Returning to the point I made earlier about the two responsibilities of MPs, if a majority of constituency voters cast their vote in favour of remaining, then the MP concerned has a duty to reflect that. But such MPs also have a duty to the country as a whole – which voted to leave.
There is no place in politics for those MPs who are using their positions as MPs to stop Brexit. What those who voted remain cannot do is stop Brexit. A majority of people across the country as whole voted to leave. The result of the recent amendment that took away the right of the government to handle Brexit and turn it over to MPs is a national disgrace; MPs are not the government.
Dominic Grieve and those who went along with his underhand machinations must be deselected and deselected immediately. And yes, that includes Anna Soubry, and the rest of them, both Tory and Labour, not to mention MPs of those other minority parties abusing their positions.
These wretched, self-serving non-entities are interested only in themselves, feathering their own nests and increasing their power over you, the ordinary person - the ones who gave them their jobs to start with. They can of course, save themselves by eating a little humble pie and promise to serve the people, not rule them. Break that promise however and there can be no second chances.
As to the furore over the withdrawal agreement and all that is supposedly wrong with it, there is one small point that has been conveniently overlooked (or deliberately ignored) by its critics over what seems to be the biggest problem and it is this: when the Attorney General, Geoffrey Cox, confirmed that the backstop could be indefinite with no legal way for the UK to escape it, he wrote:
‘Despite statements… that it is not intended to be permanent, and the clear intention of the parties that it should be replaced by alternative, permanent arrangements, in international law the backstop would endure indefinitely until a superseding agreement took its place’.
It is those last seven words that are the most important; ‘until a superseding agreement took
Does anybody really, really think that the amount of business at stake would prevent such a superseding agreement? Does anybody seriously believe that a trade deal will not be agreed? And by business, I don’t just mean big corporations. Business includes holidays both in the EU and the UK. It includes every aspect of our day-today lives and our ability to travel to EU countries. The number of jobs at stake on both sides of the divide will mean that highly influential people will insist that the backstop never happens.
And those highly influential people include ordinary voters. Including you and me. We are the bosses of the politician.
So politicians, as your boss, I am telling you – for all its imperfections, vote the withdrawal agreement through. Stop posturing, stop seeking the headlines and making yourselves look and feel important. You are not. You are there to serve my interests and those of my country.
Vote it through and then get on and make a trade agreement with the EU.
© Kevan James 2018
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