Saturday, September 07, 2019

BREXIT Myths: Can't we just leave and get it over?

Short answer: No.

Longer answer: No, we can't. It's wrong on both counts. We can't "just leave", and even if we do, Brexit won't be over...

We can leave, when

  • Parliament passes the withdrawal agreement, 
  • or Boris negotiates a new Withdrawal Agreement with the EU (with a diferent font, say, or a with a renamed backstop), and Parliament passes it,
  • or the UK does not agree a Withdrawal Agreement and the Article 50 period expires (inlcuding any extensions).
What we can't do is leave Right Now, because the EU is a treaty organisation, and we agreed the treaties, and the treaties that we agreed say how any country leaves the EU and withdraws from the obligations it agreed to.

But, even if we leave, Brexit doesn't end. That's just the start.

We'd have to spend the next few years negotiating the trade deals, tariff quotas, standards and certification arrangements that we need when selling stuff to other countries. If we manage to do that in a few years, that would be a record for a major trade deal.

How confident are you that our government is capable of doing all that quickly, without making disastrous concessions to countries in less of a hurry than us? This first stage was supposed to be easy, and just look how it's going!

Brexit would just be the start. Think how little the government achieved in the past three years, while it was concentrating on Brexit. Can we afford several more years of such complete distraction from the real problems the UK is facing?

  • Austerity and rising inequality;
  • rail chaos; 
  • Global Warming and Climate Breakdown; 
  • the disasters of Universal Credit, extreme benefit sanctions, and rising foodbank use - there's even one for workers in a government building;
  • the Windrush scandal, with legitimate UK residents being deported - most not even compensated yet for years of enforced homelessness and joblessness under the "hostile environment" - some victims even died after being deported;
  • the failure to get to grips with the the aftermath of the Grenfell fire;
  • recruitment problems in the NHS, shortages of medical staff, rising waiting lists and missed targets for treatment, whether routine, emergency or life-saving; 
  • an epidemic of knife crime, amid unprecedented cuts in policing and youth services, and woefully inadequate mental health provision; 
  • schools in crisis, with some teachers even having to buy the school's toilet roll; 
  • and Trade Wars breaking out all over the planet.
I could go on - but if things are this bad while we have effective trading arrangements, and the government only need to negotiate with the EU, how bad will things get if our trading arrangements are seriously disrupted by "no deal", and they have to negotiate with lots of countries at once?

Do you feel lucky?

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