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Brexit - Delayed, Derailed and Done For

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.