“Hard” Brexit? Have we all gone totally mad? The short answer to that I suppose is, many people have. The longer answer likely involves mystic predictions about planetary alignments, wind-speed projections, and a lengthy investigation regarding the precise angle at which the earth is orbiting the sun, all to conclude that there is just something about 2016 that is turning vast swathes of the population totally and utterly bonkers.
I’m a proud Remoaner. I will likely bitch about Brexit for the rest of my life. I shall sit comfortably in my mansion, crystalline champagne glass in hand, lecturing my grandkids about the “worst geostrategic decision of my lifetime!” I am certainly not going to get over this one any time soon.
But, having said that, even I have grown tired of our dithering. It is because of our inability to make any swift-ish decision that we are in a setting of such extreme uncertainty, and that in turn is causing our currency to spiral, and making us a far more unattractive place in which to do business. That’s the thing with markets – it’s all just bollocks and worry until somebody important decides it isn’t. What must happen now is that parliament needs to decide how we are to Brexit. And that, in my opinion, should be as gently as possible, in order to appease the knuckle-dragging Brexiteers, and remain at least somewhat representative of the 48% (and growing) that voted to remain.
We simply cannot have a “hard” Brexit. An exit from the single market is potential economic suicide. This is not undemocratic. We had a referendum in which one enormous, over-arching, unspecific question was asked: in or out? Some in the Leave camp thought that merely meant exiting the political institutions, some thought that meant the whole single market-exiting shebang. What is undemocratic, however, is ignoring the view of almost half of the nation.
The pile of Remainers is ever growing. Many Leavers now regret voting as they did. I honestly believe if we were to have the referendum again, it would come down to a 50/50 split, thus be null and void. A “soft” Brexit is the compromise this country needs. We’d retain some of that all important sovereignty Leavers suddenly decided they gave a massive shit about, yet we’d keep a friendly relationship with our allies and neighbours, and perhaps most importantly, our economy could crawl back from its’ sick bed and start to slowly recover.
We certainly don’t win with a hard Brexit. Whereas perhaps if we go in soft, we can prosper in the long run.
A soft Brexit is the best of both worlds, and the deal we definitely don’t deserve. But if our European partners decide to extend their hand and shake on it, we might come back fighting after all.