A brief Brexit blueprint
It is doubtful Remainers would have shown any decency to Brexiteers if they had won. But we must not stoop to their level. A solid plan for Brexit must be inclusive of all Britons' views. Here's how, says Matthew Ellery from Get Britain Out
The dust has now settled on Brexit Britain, and the question is no longer why, but how? It is clear the referendum result must be respected as 51.9 percent of voters from a turnout of 72.2 percent voted for Brexit. This means 17,410,742 members of the Great British Public voted to leave the EU.
This was an historic result. It was a victory for democracy and for sovereignty. However, a victory by such a narrow margin means we Brexiteers must create a future for this country which also takes into consideration some of the legitimate concerns of those who voted ‘Remain’.
Compassion is required. I’m doubtful any compassion would have been shown to Brexiteers if we had lost, but now is the time to prove we are better than them.
Before we get into the details of Brexit Britain, it is necessary to point out that Brexit Britain is, in fact, where we are heading. A petition calling for another referendum should be treated with the contempt it deserves. There are questions over the petition’s validity, with individuals from other nations using a UK address in order to sign the petition, along with possible hacking occurring: more people signed the petition from Vatican City than actually live there.
More importantly, this petition for a 2nd referendum is morally wrong, as we’ve just had a referendum with an enormous turnout. Any attempt to try and run it again would look like a serious case of sour grapes. If you lose at tennis or a football match, you may be disappointed, but you shake hands at the end and accept the consequences. The same applies in politics.
Even worse is some of the behaviour by ‘Remain’ voters, hurling abuse at older generations for voting ‘Leave’, claiming they have destroyed their future. It is worth reminding these unpleasant individuals that the reason they have a future is because of older generations who fought in the two World Wars.
Someone even told me that she hoped old ‘Leave’ voters would die soon. On Twitter someone has threatened to punch me in the face and put me in hospital -- later describing himself as “a loner with mental health problems and we all know how dangerous they can be”. Despite the media narrative, there are many ‘Remain’ supporters who are also fighting in the gutter with the far right.
However, most ‘Remain’ supporters have legitimate concerns about possible consequences of the vote, and many have not done as much research as we at Get Britain Out have in trying to properly inform the public. They need not be worried about most of their concerns.
The ‘Remain’ campaign clearly convinced many people certain things are only available from inside the EU. Luckily, most things the EU does are available outside of the EU and without the ramifications of EU membership.
Workers’ rights will remain unchanged, with most workers’ rights at the moment going to near the maximum the EU allows, rather than the minimum. The European Health Insurance Card will be up for negotiation. Switzerland and Norway also enjoy this benefit and they are not EU Member States.
Erasmus+ will continue -- as any country in the world can participate in the Erasmus programme regardless of EU membership or even geographical location. It merely requires the fulfillment of some simple criteria.
All this despite the recent scaremongering of the Remain camp. It’s hardly any wonder many young people were worried about Brexit. These are just a few examples. There are many more.
In order to leave the EU, the UK will need to implement the Article 50 procedure. This gives the UK two years to negotiate the terms of Brexit (unless an extension is agreed). As a trade deal may take longer than two years, the Government might be best advised not to implement Article 50 immediately. The best solution would be to negotiate informally at first, try and sort out a new trade deal which is acceptable to both parties, and then trigger the Article 50 procedure.
There is some talk of the EU itself triggering Article 50. This is clearly not allowed under the terms of the treaties. However, the EU institutions have wilfully ignored the treaties in the past to get what they want.
The solution for the UK in this circumstance is clear: the UK would then need to challenge the decision of the EU in the EU’s Court of Justice. This court has an enormous backlog of cases and would take a few years to reach a decision in any case, completely negating the EU’s attempt to speed up the process.
Some in the EU are saying there will be no informal negotiations before the triggering of Article 50. They are saying this to start the stop-clock initiated by Article 50, which would heavily strengthen the EU’s negotiating hand. The UK must ignore these calls for immediate implementation and force the EU to negotiate informally by any means necessary.
The UK has the Council Presidency next year for 6 months and could decide to cause chaos if necessary. Negotiate with the UK, or face the consequences. The EU would soon back down.
Remaining a member of the European Economic Area (EEA) is likely to be the type of relationship the politicians who supported the ‘Remain’ campaign will want for the UK after Brexit. However, this would surely be unacceptable to the electorate, as this would allow the EU to continue creating the laws of our country (but to a lesser extent than full EU membership) and the free movement of people would continue.
Analysis of the referendum shows the main reason for voting ‘Leave’ was overwhelmingly democracy and sovereignty, with immigration coming in a poor second. Remaining a member of the EEA tramples all over the rationale of our vote to leave the EU.
The type of relationship the UK should aim for is one outside the EEA -- therefore reclaiming sovereignty and control, but seeking a free trade deal to slash tariffs, which would be both good news for the UK and the EU. The UK should also seek to engage in mutually beneficial EU programmes, as an olive branch to the ‘Remain’ campaigners.
The struggle is not over. We are going to have to fight tooth and nail to ensure we not only leave the EU, but we also free ourselves from the undemocratic shackles of the EEA.
We must keep up the pressure to ensure that we really do Get Britain Out.
Matthew Ellery is a Research Executive at Get Britain Out
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