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Life After Brexit

Life After Brexit: Are the Remain and Leave camps almost the same, and why that matters so much

Peter Drew

Well Brexit sure has caused a huge divisive split in British society. But despite the country having seemingly split into two clear camps which seem to be poles apart, if you boil things down to what the four core issues of the EU referendum were, probably most of the population would be very close to being on the same page, with just differences on interpreting what Brexit actually means in reality, or slightly different priorities on the four core issues. So what are the four core issues, how do the Remain and Leave camps view these, and why is it so important?

The core issues of the EU referendum are as follows:

1. Freedom of movement - is it a good or bad thing for businesses and people in the EU to be able to move and interact fairly seamlessly across the EU nations?

2. Democracy – is it better for a country to live in a dictatorship or a democracy? Since the Lisbon Treaty in 2009 almost all sovereign or democratic powers were shifted by stealth from the democratically elected national governments and European Parliament across to the unelected and unaccountable European Commission dictatorship. In addition to what has already been done on this, there are now leaks coming out that the plans are in place for the European Commission to completely remove the very small amount of national sovereignty still remaining in the EU nations

3. Grand theft – is stealing good or bad? The EU takes £350 million every week from the impoverished British people. It gives back some of that in ‘EU funding’ to maintain an illusion of authenticity, but the rest of it (many billions of pounds per year) goes into the financial abyss of the European Commission never to seen or heard of again. The European Commission still refuse to have their accounts audited, so this is just straight up criminal activity and grand theft on a biblical scale

4. Global Trade – will British manufacturing businesses do better if they can only export to a relatively small market, or if they can export to huge markets? The EU as a global trade negotiator on behalf of Britain is a lumbering dinosaur which requires 28 different nations to come to agreement. Hence it has achieved very little global impact to benefit its member nations. Britain within the EU is therefore restricted to trading predominantly within Europe which is now a financial basket case. Outside of the EU, Britain will be able to trade with nations all over the world, including the world’s biggest markets in China, Russia, India, and others. The size of these markets now open to Britain are many many times the size of the European market. So Brexit releases Britain back to engaging with the whole world. Already we are seeing many countries all over the world coming forward wanting to do business with Britain under Brexit

So, where are the big points of disagreement for the Brits which are currently causing such division and stress across society? Of the four points above, there probably would not be much disagreement that numbers 2, 3, and 4 represent great positive opportunities for Britain, and for any sane person, number 2 should just be non-negotiable, plain and simple. The main point of contention between Remain and Leave is number 1. The Remain camp are outraged that the Leave camp would shut the door on the great positives of a progressive and cooperative Europe, and they have placed this point as the top priority. Many in the Leave camp have focussed more on points 2, 3, and 4, but still been very much in favour of maintaining point 1 in at least close to the current state if possible.

But is the Remain camp correct in thinking that Brexit shuts the door on positive integration with Europe? I don’t think it does. Brexit means leaving a hopelessly corrupt, undemocratic, and nation crippling European Commission, while most likely remaining an integrated part of Europe, but under slightly re-negotiated conditions. EU Article 50 involves taking the huge list of items of EU integration, and negotiating which of those will remain for Britain after Brexit, and which will go. Once that is done then Britain can go to the individual nations of Europe and attempt to negotiate anything else that they feel might be missing from a positive and open relationship with that nation. This process is all still somewhat of an unknown, which will cause market instability while things are still uncertain. But to say that Brexit will slam the door shut between Britain and the rest of Europe is not correct at all. It may not even end up changing much at all. But we will have to wait to see on that once Article 50 becomes activated.

Meanwhile, Brexit most definitely allows the people of Britain and its democratically elected British officials to begin planning what they can do to help rebuild local communities devastated by EU austerity, invest into the crippled health service, and help develop businesses in Britain using the £350 million per week that was previously going to the EU. They can also begin positive trade discussions with huge markets all over the world. Also, our democratically elected officials can now, in theory anyway, discard or change all the EU imposed laws in Britain that might be counterproductive to British success, of which the list is extremely long. If they do a terrible job of this, then at least they can now be voted out.

So there probably are not huge points of difference between the Remain and Leave camps. The branding of the EU referendum as ‘Remain’ versus ‘Leave’ was hugely divisive and misleading. The word 'Leave' brings with it negative connotations that are not really fair or the real point of the referendum. What would the public perception of the referendum have been if it had instead been branded as ‘Dictatorship’ versus ‘Democracy’, which is really what the main issue was that sparked many of the MEPs in European Parliament into a backlash against the European Commission following the 2009 Lisbon Treaty, and subsequently forced David Cameron into the referendum.

The Remain and Leave camps need to put down their weapons and come together with dealing in the best way possible with the challenges of Brexit while maximising the huge positive opportunities now available to Britain.

Peter Drew - MSc
Independent Journalist

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