We’re now only a few weeks away from starting the process of leaving the European Union and I am still no closer to being reconciled to this dreadful decision. We now know that it is to be the hardest of hard Brexits with economic costs that are as yet unimaginable.
But it is more than that. I actually loathe the idea that I might be out of the European Union. That the right I had to live, work and love in a shared community of 28 nations will be lost to my son, his generation and those that will follow.
And it’s all so ridiculous and ludicrous. Never before has a nation indulged in such a pointless exercise of economic and cultural self flagellation. Never before has there been such a clamour to participate in such national self harm, and for what?
If we were perhaps doing this for some lofty ideal, maybe to tackle global injustice or assist in alleviating the condition of the world’s poorest, then perhaps it would all be a bit more palatable.
But no, we’re doing this because the UK doesn’t like immigrants.
Stopping immigration informs everything concerning our departure from the EU. It takes precedence over anything else and all other considerations are merely consequential. The costs associated with this obsession is simply to be borne in this grand mission and dismissed and discounted. No price is too high to ‘take back control’.
The thing is we live in a global, interconnected world where the movement of peoples has never been so profound. From the exchange of ideas and skills to people fleeing wars more people are on the move than ever before in history. Somehow we are asked to believe the myth that Brexitised Canute UK will beat back this historic tide.
It is now clear that it’s the Faragists and the hard right Tories who have won the terms of Brexit. People who have hitherto inhabited the fringes of our politics are now mainstream and their world view is now convention.
I actually laughed out loud when I listened to this guff about a ‘global’ UK. ‘Global’ is the last thing that the new UK wants to be or will become. ‘Drawbridge’ UK would be a much better description.
And look at the response from the rest of the world. When they’re not laughing at us they are simply taking pity on us. As this joke of a Foreign Secretary goes out his way to insult the very people we have to ‘negotiate’ with they are thinking of nothing but the hardest of conditions to deter anybody else from considering leaving.
A negotiating position, you ask? Well the negotiating position seems to be threatening our EU partners that we will indulge in even further self harm if they don’t do as we want. Apparently, we are actually considering turning the UK into some sort of off shore de-regulated tax haven if the EU actually thinks about looking out for its own interests. That’ll show them….
Its not just the actual act of leaving the EU that concerns me, though that is ghastly enough. Its the ideology – the new world view that is hastily being designed to accommodate this new national splendid isolation.
The biggest cheer leaders of the Prime Minister this week have been UKIP. Paul Nuttall actually said “it did sound like a UKIP conference speech and the Prime Minister is now applying some of the things that we’ve been talking about for many, many years”
People of Scotland – work as if if you live in the early days of a UKIP UK. A weird world of 50s nostalgia, being antipathetic to ‘foreigners’ and a reality that will feel like living in the angry, agitated, ultra Conservative pages of a Daily Mail editorial.
Scotland of course wanted nothing to do with any of this but yet we are to be driven over this cliff edge with the rest of the UK. If we don’t get out of all of this soon we will be marooned on this small island with these ultra right Tories running the show. If we meekly go along with this they will feel emboldened to do whatever they want with us. Backbench Tories hate the Barnett Formula and when the post Brexit economy tanks (as it very quickly will) it will be things like Barnett that they will have the confidence to tackle.
Things are coming to a head. We have tried to compromise with this, to deliver a plan that will spare us the worst of this madness, but we will soon be forced to choose again.
This time the choice will be very clear. Stuck in a new isolated UK ran by ideologues we didn’t vote for or determining our own way in the world according to our own national values.