History will judge, because it always does. And I’m not sure if it makes me happy or sad to contemplate the fact that I will not be around when the final verdict emerges on the wisdom of this country’s departure from the EU.
The people voted for it, and it was undeniably a good turnout at over 70%, but the difference between the votes cast for and against was less than 4% of the total, hardly an overwhelming majority for such a critically important decision.
Nevertheless, it was the decision of the people, and their decision is inviolate isn’t it? But I would guess that 95% or more of the population have not the slightest ability to judge whether the UK will be better off in or out of the EU – and that of course includes the 16 million or so who voted to remain. The majority wanted to leave for all sorts of reasons, and the minority wished to remain for a whole variety of different reasons. The vote was decided on ideological not practical lines.
We will be free of the Brussels bureaucracy, free of the £250 M weekly membership fee, free of the single market and the customs union, free of the rules and regulations and free to strike our own trade deals. But, pretty well all serious analyses say that the UK will be worse off, financially, afterwards.
Was it a fair vote? There were dirty tricks on one side and a lamentable failure to organize on the other. Undeniably the person who is our current prime minister has tremendous charisma, and quite possibly swung the balance. If the last election was in any sense a re-run of the referendum, by voting the Tories in with such a substantial majority, the people again, effectively, voted Leave … Or was it that the breathtakingly inept performance of the Labour leadership lost the election? After all, the majority of votes cast were for parties who supported remain …
Well, for better or worse, we leave today. There is much talk about ‘coming together’ and ‘healing the wounds’ but these wounds will take decades to heal. I for one am not reconciled to the situation and never will be. It was the wrong decision taken for the wrong reasons, and we will all be poorer as a result.
Welcome to the Mirli Books blog written by Peter Maggs