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What Next For “Remain”

Brexit is over. Brexit is done. I lost. You lost. We lost. (The last two IMHO).

Once the Brexit vote had happened there was no turning back. I argued for the hardest Brexit possible – whilst wanting to remain totally in opposition to Brexit.

Yet I wasn’t going to totally give up the fight whilst there was still a very tiny chance that the mass of public opinion could sway vehemently against leaving the EU.

Which is why I went on the marches and why I continued to argue as often as possible (too often, yeah) that we should not leave the EU. I knew it would almost certainly be fruitless, but I couldn’t stay by and watch what I see as the degradation of the United Kingdom in silence.

Sure, in poll after poll, more people said Brexit was wrong, than right, roughly 47% to 40% (the very most recent poll has seen 43% saying Brexit right – but one poll doesn’t make a trend, and that is still belong Brexit wrong at 46%).

However, I always felt unless this reached a critical mass, say 65% of people saying Brexit was wrong, then there was no legitimacy in a second referendum.

I did also have the vaguest hope that remainers might actually vote Liberal Democrat – the only party in favour of staying in the EU during the 2019 election.

I jumped from Conservative to Liberal Democrat, alas, few did make the required move – most believing in the socialist lies of Jeremy Corbyn, pro-Brexit Jeremy Corbyn, which really disappointed me.

My initial whelp of joy at the Conservative 80 seat majority after the election was mostly of relief that we avoided destructive socialism, but it was also partly a feeling of betrayal – that other remainers couldn’t make the jump away from their party to a remain party.

So, we are where we are. Both tiny chances of legitimately stopping Brexit were lost – though in all likelihood, even if it had been stopped, it would have happened at some point.

What now?

If Kier Starmer wins the Labour leadership election, circa an 85% chance currently according to the bookies, he will command the support of much of remain.

Not me. I cannot countenance supporting Labour – a party that has historically crashed the economy so many times, yet people still try to rewrite history, blaming a Global Economic Crisis in 2008 for Gordon Brown initiating a large budget deficit every year from 2002.

Yet Conservatives seem totally unable to counteract this argument (away from the increasingly small free-market bunch of them) – and further to that are probably going to increase the budget deficit by implementing unaffordable Labour-esque spending. This will end in tears, though perhaps it is time for Labour to clear up an economic mess, for a change. And I certainly cannot support this.

The danger for the Liberal Democrats is not only from Kier Starmer eating up all the left-wing side of them, but also could come from who the Liberal Democrats themselves elect as leader. They could also choose someone of more left-wing disposition, say Vera Hobhouse, but not be strong enough to compete with Labour – and lose Conservative liberals such as myself.

That would leave me totally politically homeless, not that I feel especially comfortable voting Liberal Democrat as it is.

Meanwhile for those of us wanting to oppose Brexit, it is all about biding our time and waiting patiently. No more second referendum appeals, no more large-scale protests.

Only when the public start to feel the failure of Brexit, the impact of borders, instability in Northern Ireland, passport queues at airports, higher prices, higher unemployment, car factories closing, etc, will public opinion on Brexit change dramatically. I’m not stating all of that will happen, it is unlikely all of that will happen – Brexit won’t happen in a vacuum and not everything can be predicted. Just like Labour do, you can be sure Brexiters will blame any forthcoming recession on everything but their own actions. I will say it as it is – whether it be Brexit-related or not.

And, of course, maybe we will really hit the sunlit uplands that we have been promised. Maybe we will reverse the £550m a week loss to the UK since the Brexit vote that is because of Brexit and end up with £350m extra a week.

Alas, I doubt it, and our continued lower growth and/or a Brexit-related recession I feel will eventually/suddenly lead to opposition to Brexit being much more pronounced. One report in 2019 suggested that Brexit had already cost £1,000 over 3 years to the average person (£550m a week to the UK). Maybe not huge sums for some – but I know I’d prefer that £1,000 to not having it.

Assuming this happens, that will when the argument for rejoining the EU will have more salience. Enough salience and enough public support? Who knows, but you wouldn’t win a referendum on having an invasion of Iraq now.

All about being patient, factual and respectful to those that voted Brexit. Our time will come. This can and hopefully will be reversed.