The New European says: The people must take back control
PUBLISHED: 11:00 12 July 2018
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With the government in disarray, there is only one place left to turn - to us, the people.
Three constituencies inhabit this weary island today; the deluded, the dismayed, the despairing.
The deluded, shrinking in number as each new fiasco unfolds, still believe the lies they were sold by the career eurosceptics. Despite every single piece of evidence to the contrary, and the opinion of the great majority of business leaders, they believe ‘no deal’ is not only an option, but the preferred option.
The dismayed now number in their millions.
They are bored or bewildered by the chaos of Brexit. They were told it was simple and they simply cannot understand why, two years later, we are still nowhere near agreeing what it even means.
Perhaps the tragic truth is that for the dismayed, it won’t be the arguments of Brexit that fire their engagement, but rather Brexit’s consequences; the lost jobs, the shrinking economy, the descent of a great nation to the fringes of influence.
And then there are the despairing.
Those of us who believe this country’s future is better served within the EU, for all of its faults, than on the outside, know despair all too well. Since the shock of June 23, 2016, the reality of the referendum vote has profoundly challenged our core beliefs in what it means to be a citizen of both this country and of Europe.
But now the ranks of despairing Remainers are swollen by many more millions who, for their own sincere reasons and with good intent, voted for Leave, and who have seen the victory they thought they had won taken from them by the incompetence of Theresa May and her government.
The despair they must be feeling now is even sharper than ours.
At least Remainers have had the camaraderie that comes with insurgency; the fellowship of the underdog.
But to be a Leave supporter today is to realise you have fallen victim to an outrageous con.
Not the con that you were lied to about the advantages of leaving the EU, but the con that any of it was ever deliverable. Because this is the fundamental truth that has been hammered home in the past few weeks: Brexit does not work. In any form.
And so, after two years of mismanagement, May has managed to achieve what she claimed for herself so fraudulently two years ago. She has finally united both Leaver and Remainer in this: it’s now in both our interests that the arguments for Brexit be put once again to the people.
Boris Johnson claims the dream of Brexit is dying. But there is one dream that is not dying.
That, in fact, grows more vivid by the day.
The dream that the people of Britain might yet choose to reverse the course they set two years ago and, with full knowledge of all the stark realities that have unveiled themselves, cancel Brexit.
When The New European launched nine days after the referendum with the ambition of publishing four issues to chronicle the immediate aftermath of the vote, we were the only national newspaper who set out our stall that any form of Brexit was bad for the country.
Today, after 103 issues, our editorial position remains unchanged. What has changed is the groundswell of people, from across the entire spectrum of politics, who concur.
Why? Because anybody paying attention can see just how unworkable Brexit is.
Put to one side the reality that the EU for very good reason will not agree to the erosion of its core values to accommodate renegade Britain.
The fact is there is no majority in the House of Commons for any of our putative solutions to delivering Brexit.
Not for May’s Chequers hyper-soft Brexit plan, nor for Labour’s version, in any of its shape-shifting forms. Not for retention of the customs union and the single market. And certainly not for Jacob Rees-Mogg and his dogmatist colleagues’ preferred ‘no deal’ plan.
So with Westminster stuck, there is only one place left to turn: To us, the people.
Labour will be critical in facilitating this, but we believe the democratic desire to respect the will of the people, a will which is so unknowable today, will prevail.
Parliament is paralysed. The government has failed. The people must take back control.
Before the deluded, the dismayed and the despairing become the damned.