This week we’re again returning the favour: we’ve more of your Brexit comments:
In contrast to my previous piece on the subject, there was more support for the Remain position than before. Leavers, meanwhile, have still been very vocal in their dislike of the overall handing of Brexit.
But let’s start with a critical comment about what I wrote before:
“This is a very Brexit-biased email string”, says ‘D’. “You clearly don’t believe in a balanced argument, or maybe don’t want to publish one?”
“I am a Remainder, but I also listen and consider the view of Brexiteers like you with interest. I really want to understand what you see in this idea. If I could be persuaded that Brexit was a good idea, I would back it. For three years I’ve been looking for something that would persuade me, but still haven’t found it.”
“It seems Brexiteers only want to listen to themselves. You are getting increasingly desperate to keep people on your side as Brexit is slipping away. If it happens, the UK is heading towards being a less significant and less powerful nation in the world. The EU is not perfect. But using that as a reason for leaving is suggesting that UK politics is much better positioned.”
Fair point about UK politics. But I believe you’re being a bit unfair by accusing my article of imbalance – I simply reflected the opinions of most of our contributors.
Anyway, here’s more from the Remain camp:
“The 2016 referendum was NOT democratic”, says ‘M’. “The Leave campaign has not been held to account for illegal actions… and as we’ve seen, ‘leave means leave’ meant a whole set of different things.”
“It is apparent that very few Brits actually know the values and operating principles of the EU, and believe misleading press opinions. It is not a dictatorship. On the contrary, it has a Parliament that operates far more democratically. It’s Theresa May who has turned the British Government into a Dictatorship.”
“As for trading under WTO rules – we can’t. We don’t yet have the agreements in place under GATT [the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade]. Those rules would crucify British industry as well as weaken health & safety plus food regulations. The writers obviously do not know the complex linkages involved in most manufacturing industry or the importance of just in time manufacture.”
On that last point, many ‘experts’ would agree. But ultimately, tariffs are a creation of mankind. Agreements on them can always be reached, even if these took time.
“As for our own trade deals… what can a country of 65m people negotiate with a market of 500m?” asks ‘K’. “How could we do a better deal than the EU? Most importantly, we currently have input on its deals. The car manufacturing debacle where the EU offered 0% import duty to Honda is the root of the latter’s decision to leave Swindon. This wouldn’t have happened if we’d been at the negotiation table.”
“God help us with no deal. However if a deal includes any kind of customs union, that would make us bound to EU regulations and decisions with no input on them. With Remain we can influence the direction of the EU, not be subject to it. Leave enslaves us, not Remain.”
“Also, people fail to see the big geopolitical picture. China is growing, Russia is recovering, the USA is declining and we cannot rely on its support. The EU is the only grouping that can stand against any of them. With NATO being undermined by Trump, Russia in particular will nibble away at the eastern border and manipulate via social media. The call for an EU army… if hard to swallow, is a logical strategy.”
“The EU needs reform. It will not happen without input from the UK.”
Fair enough, but it hasn’t happened thus far. Hence the referendum result?…
“Having been a staunch Remainer, converted to Leaver once Europe got involved, I now find myself in an awkward position”, says ‘ST’. “We can’t do a deal because Europe (or rather Junkers/ Tusk/ Barnier) won’t talk about one until we leave, but on the other hand the Single European Market is a must for us to be in.”
“So here’s what we should do. Revoke Article 50 and do as we please – just like Greece, Italy, Hungary and, yes (would you believe it) France. Stop being British, be European and break/ bend the rules to suit ourselves.”
“Europe is failing and the only way for it to realign its ideals to what was originally conceived as a European trading market is for us to be at the helm, i.e. within.”
Well it certainly needs reforming, according to ‘SC’ who says that: “I’ve considered what would make it worth staying in the EU, and it’s difficult to find anything tangible”.
“Having lived and worked in France for six years, I‘ve seen first-hand the protectionist/socialist ideology that pervades this country, I’ve seen how the French ignore EU laws and directives, even if they do end up paying fines.”
“It’s easy for French businesses to set up and compete in the UK – look at our utilities, bus companies etc. Many are French. But it’s very difficult for a UK business to break into a large number of ‘protected’ industries in France. For this reason, I don’t think the EU can work fairly, and the French establishment very much see the EU as an extension of the French empire.”
“Transnational governments become less and less accountable – we’re now seeing the consequences of this. Europe’s countries are very different. This doesn’t mean they can’t get on and cooperate, but sharing sovereignty, an EU army, fiscal and monetary policy – no thanks! My national sovereignty and identity are far more important than any economic benefits of joining an undemocratic federalist superstate.”
Mmm. Time for more of the same…
“I voted leave, not to ‘betray the young’ as some Remainers claim, but as a father and grandfather desperate to give my descendants an enjoyment of the freedoms I have always believed in,” says ‘A’.
“The way I see the EU political entity (not Europe itself) is that not only the UK but also Europe deserves better! I believe that when the EU falls apart (as I think it eventually will), independent self-governing friendly democratic countries – after an adjustment period – can and will prosper.”
“Countries will look back at the EU’s lack of democracy and wonder why they ever tolerated it for so long. The EU, in my opinion, is unnecessary, inefficient, wasteful and corrupt. It’s now becoming a long-term political danger to peace.”
No punches pulled there, sir!
Once more, thanks again for all your comments, even if we can’t publish all of them. Let’s hope that we do get some Brexit answers soon!