Brexiteer: ‘We are much better off working inside the EU’

Peter Oborne on Question Time. Photograph: BBC.

Peter Oborne on Question Time. Photograph: BBC. - Credit: Archant

An outspoken supporter of Brexit has written an opinion column calling for the country to 'rethink' the UK's departure from the EU - citing the 'deceit' of the Leave campaign.

Peter Oborne, a columnist for the Daily Mail, has argued that the UK should take up the European Council President's offer of a year-long delay because he says that Brexit has 'turned Britain into a laughing stock.'

Writing for Open Democracy, he talks of the 'false prospectus' offered by the Brexiteers, and says that the UK should 'grab kindly' the 'offer of a year's sabbatical.'

He writes: 'Suspending Brexit will be greatly preferable to the alternative. How many important decisions in our own lives, too, have had to be taken on such a chilly and unexciting consideration? It's time for a long pause.'

He claims that Britain's departure from the EU would be a 'great disaster for our country as the over-mighty unions were in the 1960s and 1970s'.

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He refers to 'the trickle of companies announcing plans to leave Britain has turned into a flood' which has included Nissan, Sony and Dyson, and says a 'clumsily executed Brexit' will hit wages, jobs and public services.

He continues: 'If we are honest, we Brexiteers have to admit that the economic arguments for Brexit have been destroyed by a series of shattering blows.'

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Referencing the businessmen and Lexiters that are the big supporters of Brexit, he comments: 'When hedge-fund managers and the Communist Party see eye-to-eye on any question, it's time to be concerned.'

Furthermore, he has fears for Ireland as a result of Brexit, claiming that 'we've all misunderstood the Irish question, even though it has loomed so large in our history for the last 500 years.'

While Oborne still defends his decision 0 and says he 'still feels proud of Brexit' for 'challenging remote oligarchs based in Brussels' - he says that he now believes 'we are much better off working inside the EU.'

He writes: 'I argue, as a Brexiteer, that we need to take a long deep breath. We need to swallow our pride, and think again. Maybe it means rethinking the Brexit decision altogether.'

Oborne column has received praise from campaigners and commentators across social media.

David Lammy said: 'This is brave. Previously ardent Brexiteer Peter Oborne swallows his pride.'

Alastair Campbell tweeted: 'Few have written as many words attacking me as Peter Oborne over the years. I forgive him every one of them for this seminal piece on Brexit. This is the kind of honesty and seriousness we need from our politicians right now.'

Presenter Simon Schama said the opinion piece 'should be read by every engaged person on both Brexit and Remain sides - and if we get that far as a starting point for new debate.'

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