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Letter: Brexit – ‘We Need To Move On’ Do We? But Where To?

Published on: 2 Jul, 2016
Updated on: 2 Jul, 2016

BrexitFrom Susan Parker

In response to A Tatlow’s comment under: Immigration Was The Issue That Has Unearthed Scary Nationalism

A Tatlow  says: “We need to move on.” Just explain to me where we are moving on to?

The “decisive” result was expressed as a binary choice on a ballot paper, but it is not clear what the decision actually meant.

Indeed, I don’t know what the Leave campaigners voted for.

Nor do the politicians who will have to implement the deal. There weren’t clear options set out on the ballot paper. Every Leave campaigner gives different reasons for the choice they made. Those voters will not all be satisfied by the result.

Before Article 50 is implemented, parliament will have to ratify its implementation. The MPs therefore need to determine whether:

  1. We have the EEA – which means accepting in full the “four freedoms” (capital, goods, services, movement) – like Norway
  2. We are outside the EEA – like Turkey
  3. We have some form of modification of the EEA – which will mean horse-trading, and almost certainly some loss of the banking passport (France is understandably keen on putting everything except the banking passport on the table.)
  4. England and Wales secede quickly from the United Kingdom, leaving Scotland and Northern Ireland in the UK. England can write its own terms as an independent nation, in much less than the two year time horizon, and the Scots also get what they want- (like the Greenland secession from Denmark and so the EU).
  5. We decide to think again.

That’s a complex question. But it has to be asked, because slogans can’t actually be used to write treaties.

We’ve now got sovereignty, for what it’s worth. I don’t know how much choice anyone thinks we will have in terms of decision making, but it isn’t much.

We have a balance of payments deficit. That will get worse with a falling pound. Our main source of foreign investment was the City, which will lose the “banking passport” with options 2, 3 or 4. That means that the jobs and the money will go abroad.

Ten days ago, we were the English speaking gateway to the EU, the single largest trading bloc in the world, and London was the financial capital of Europe. That’s why we were the 5th largest economy in the world. (The day after the referendum we fell to 6th).

Investors are already deciding to invest elsewhere, and recruitment has been slashed. We weren’t the 5th largest economy before EU entry, and I for one am fearful of a return to stagflation and economic disarray.

We can’t say Independence is right for the UK but wrong for the Scots, and those who voted Leave have probably voted for the end of the United Kingdom, and three hundred years of history.

We’ve lost the right to live, work, study or retire anywhere in the EU. For those who own property in the EU, and are semi-retired there (a significant proportion of Guildford residents), you may not be able to stay. I hope that it was worth it for the sovereignty we have gained.

In my opinion, if we can, by some mechanism, put the rather ugly genie of Brexit back into the bottle, we should do so. Others obviously feel differently.

But whatever we feel, a choice needs to be made, and it isn’t a binary one.

Susan Parker is the leader of the Guildford Greenbelt Group but was speaking in a personal capacity.

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Responses to Letter: Brexit – ‘We Need To Move On’ Do We? But Where To?

  1. C Stevens Reply

    July 2, 2016 at 4:09 pm

    What is it about a majority decision that troubles Susan Parker so? And how does she have inside track information about matters yet to be negotiated, let alone decided? Of course, she doesn’t.

    She thinks a Brexit would trouble the significant number of Guildford residents who live, semi-retired, in a second home in an EU country. But they probably voted to remain, didn’t they? In which case they’ve had their say, if not in numbers sufficient to carry the day.

    And how come we always seem so worried about bankers, but less about steel-workers and people in East Anglia, whose wages are being driven down? Is it because they don’t have a second home in the EU?

    And where exactly are the benefits of EU membership, when viewed in terms of its disadvantages? I don’t remember either David Cameron or George Osborne making the position at all clear when they tried to frighten us just before the vote.

    Sorry, but no-one knows where the ball will fall until the roulette wheel stops spinning.

    And if Brexit is an “ugly genie”, people may not want to see the far uglier genie appearing from the bottle if democracy is denied.

  2. Adam Aaronson Reply

    July 3, 2016 at 7:48 am

    C Stevens seems to imply that we should move forward by meekly accepting the uncertainty of unplanned, expert-free politics:

    “…no-one knows where the ball will fall until the roulette wheel stops spinning”.

    An admission that we have been hoodwinked into betting our future on the spin of a roulette wheel.

    Small wonder that most people who voted Remain won’t move on and get over it, as exhorted by the Farage camp.

    As Lord Heseltine pointed out, only a few weeks ago Mr Farage stated ’52-48 win for the Remain side in the EU referendum would be “unfinished business”’. Sauce for the goose…

    • Mark Rostron Reply

      July 5, 2016 at 11:48 am

      The South East, and Guildford in particular, are grossly overpopulated. The duty of politicians should be to improve the lot of the resident population, not to follow policies which lead to a lack of homes, schools, hospitals and jobs.

      And please don’t say we can’t manage without more immigration. That is insulting to the existing population.

  3. John Perkins Reply

    July 4, 2016 at 7:15 pm

    Spare me planners and experts. Planners ruined many towns and cities in the 50s and 60s and experts thought EMU and the Euro were both wonderful and failed to see the banking crisis coming.

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