Readers have their say on our special edition of The New European asking what’s next for the pro-European movement.
While James Ball’s assessment of what happens next to the ‘Remain coalition’ is balanced and very sensible, it leaves out the most important – but unpredictable – element. Michael White, in his weekly assessment, touches upon this: “Events, dear boy, events.”
What if, in six to 12 months, Brexit really does prove to be a car crash? Two weeks into 2020, we already have a foreign crisis. In 12 months the likelihood – give the current chaos and instability – is of many more, foreign and domestic crises. Ireland looms.
Boris Johnson says austerity is over, but local councils and community services are still cutting back – libraries, police, schools, healthcare, youth services, infrastructure. Lots of promises have been made over the NHS, but where is the money?
More long term there is climate change – more flooding, the collapse of fish stocks, growing global instability, famine, environmental pollution.
Never before has there been the potential for so many things to go wrong, and to manage them we have an egocentric but clown-like occupant in Downing Street.
Five years is a long time now. Things are likely to get a lot worse, rather than better.
Garth Groombridge, Southampton
You ask “What comes after Remain?” (TNE #177). To restyle ourselves I propose ‘Regain’.
‘Rejoin’ doesn’t say why. Regain implies, in a single word, that something has been taken from us and we want it back!
From the day we leave the EU, let’s change from Remainers to Regainers.
Tony Thorne, Harrow
The key word missing from your front cover was ‘Return!’. This is the most appropriate banner to rally round throughout the next phase of reactionary activity.
We want to return to our home, Europe. Whether supporters are small children, angry independents, distraught parents, or grieving grandparents “I want to return to my home” is a sentence of fundamental identification and purpose.
Adrian Wykes, Évrange and Manningtree
While the contributions in your special edition were varied and impressive, they downplayed or ignored the issue that will have the greatest personal impact in the coming year – the intention to remove our right to live, work, study and retire across the EU and the effect that this will have upon the lives of countless British citizens.
The current proposals, which allegedly aim at a ‘level playing field’, take no account of where British citizens are most likely to want to emigrate – and the EU countries are at or near the top of that list. It’s likely that many thousands will, indeed, be rushing for the exit doors in 2020 to beat the deadline… perhaps to the point where this creates disruption, including some labour shortages that can no longer be addressed by an influx of enthusiastic EU migrants.
This isn’t just an issue for the young either. For example, a middle-aged person could have a long-term partner they wish to join in another EU country and ailing parents in their home city. Do they rush to relocate by the end of 2020, before the ‘Australian-style’ immigration system proposed by the government comes into effect, or do they delay their departure until 2021 or beyond and risk not being able to relocate at all? This is just one such scenario, and bringing the specific implications of the proposals to light will be an integral part of the campaign.
In that context, an attempt to modify the government’s immigration proposals must be the top priority.
Norman Jope, Plymouth and Budapest
– The fight may have changed but the cause remains. Buy The New European every Thursday to read the full mailbag of letters. To have your say email letters@theneweuropean and join our readers’ group for more debate.