AC GRAYLING: Brexit is a desperate last grasp at a nostalgic fantasy of Britain
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In an impassioned letter sent to all MPs, AC GRAYLING has said that Brexit is a futile attempt to recover a Britain that never existed.
During the referendum campaign in 2016 voters were offered an undefined, no-plan, uncosted 'pig in a poke' which, however, they were assured would deliver 'the same benefits as being in the EU'. Remember that? Amazing! Why therefore are we faced with the horror-show of crashing out of the EU without even a deal when every rational voice is yelling out warnings about the disaster this will cause?
One answer is of course that the Brexiters lied through their teeth in 2016, and are still lying through their teeth.
The other and more pertinent answer is that this moment in the history of the UK is the last chance, the very last chance, that Brexiters have of dragging us out of the EU. Demographics and the tide of history run strongly against them. If they cannot do it now, they never will. Their nationalism, their fantasy nostalgia for the past, and their concerns about their fortunes in tax havens, are making them desperate. So desperate, they are putting into Downing Street a proven liar and cheat with a terrible record in every job he has ever held. A national embarrassment, whom no-one but the gerontocracy of the Tory Party, rabid ERG types and the most hard-line of their Brexiter supporters, would dream of putting in charge of a lawnmower, let alone a country.
And this at just the moment that the US is pulling the UK into conflict with Iran. How continent will a Boris 'Would-Be Winston' Johnson be in those circumstances? What a wonderful 'dead cat' distraction a fight in the Gulf would be while the plug is pulled on our country at home?
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But here is a truth that everyone should understand, not least the Brexiters themselves. I pointed it out in a letter to all MPs this week, as follows:
If any form of Brexit happens, it will be reversed within a few years. Demographics alone, coupled with the great and growing strength of Remainer feeling in the country, ensures this. It will be potentiated by the realisation, if a Brexit happens, that Brexiting is not the end but the beginning of a long and painful process in which political battles over trade deals and foreign relations will for years consume the time and energy that recession and threats to the union of the United Kingdom will also call upon.
The point is this: the economic harm, the deepening social divisions, the very real threat to the union of the UK, and the loss of international standing, which any form of Brexit will bring, is futile. And when the UK or its disjointed parts rejoin the EU after a difficult period of years, it will not be on the excellent terms we have now.
Yes, Brexit would be futile. Because Remainers are not going to go away. Time and population statistics are with us. If there is any form of Brexit, it will not last. The future of our country - of the countries currently part of the UK, whether internally united or not - is in the EU. Brexit is futile, therefore, and damaging - a grotesque act of folly by people who either do not understand what they are doing, or - which is worse - DO understand what they are doing, and self-servingly do not care.
Futile, therefore, because if a Brexit happens, it will not last. We will not let it.
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