“I’m a remoaner”, as Destiny’s Child may or may not once have sung. Yes proud Remainer here – I unequivocally did not want to leave the EU and still do not want to leave the EU.
But hey. It’s happening.
I see most of my remainer compadres seem to prefer a soft Brexit, staying in the customs union, staying in the single market, or even the EEA. Hell, even one or two prominent Brexiteers do too.
Sometimes, though, you have to play the long game, like the unaffectionately-known “bastards” of the 1990’s, Redwood et al, who spent 25 years agitating and attempting to bring down their own respective Conservative governments to bring about their dream of Brexit.
What is the long game for ardent remainers such as myself?
Rejoining the EU.
The optimal solution in the short-term, would be one of the versions of soft Brexit. This should minimise economic impacts, minimise potential job losses, minimise the effects of increased barriers to trade with the EU. And negate the Northern Ireland question, which contrary to Boris’ belief is not trivial.
Sadly, this relatively sensible compromise would still likely, in my assessment, lead to a lessening of economic output from what we experienced prior to the Brexit vote, and as much as remainers such as myself would use this as an argument to rejoin the EU – the nutbags would simultaneously then argue that Brexit hasn’t been done properly (you can already hear Farage and some others suggesting this), and we’ll end up in a situation of arguing whether to come out of the customs union/single market/EEA, etc.
Instead, as emotionally and economically painful as it may be, Redwood, Ress-Mogg and co must get their filthy, hard, dirty Brexit. It must be as Brexity as possible, and they must be satisfied with it, they must agree with it, they must champion it. They must be in love with it.
For when it falls down, when the vast failures become apparent to the general public, the economic damage is clearly obvious to all and the majority change their mind (which understandably can take some time, see for example the change in public support for the Iraq War years after the event) – and only when the public have changed their mind, can we rejoin the EU.
This may take 5 years, probably more likely 10, but we will rejoin the EU.
However, unless and until the public experience the full force of Brexit failure, there is no reversing Brexit – and certainly no stopping it.
Sadly we’ll have missed our opportunity to reform the EU in a more free-market way suited to British and Conservative instincts, but hey.
Of course, maybe a land of hard Brexit will be a utopia for all, but then again maybe a socialist UK run by Corbyn, Abbott et al would be a utopia too.