How to leave the EU successfully if we really want to.
Here’s a suggestion for anyone who really does want the UK to leave the EU in an orderly way, with a strong hand to choose exactly what our post-Brexit relationship should be. It can be done without threatening EU nationals, worrying about Brits abroad, and without our European neighbours thinking that we’re just posturing and messing everyone around for a few years.
All you need to do is build a parliamentary coalition that can win an election on a low-risk way of leaving the EU with the blessing of the EU. It’s a blessing that wouldn’t be unreasonably withheld if they thought that we meant it, and that it wasn’t the pyrrhic mugging that it currently is. If the EU saw that it was something that had that sustainable consensus behind it, they would have no option but to adjust.
At the moment the only way we can leave is the David Davis way – by breaking the mechanism of parliamentary governance and repeating, Corbyn-like, that he has a mandate. Last year, hundreds of MPs did this by voting for something that they believed to be a disaster. On a personal note, I hope that they get what is coming to them when the dust has settled.
I don’t agree with the friends that I have who are, by conviction, opposed to the UK being in the EU. However, my disagreements with them pale in comparison to my main reason for objecting to the current political course that the UK is following. This version of Brexit is only politically possible if we reject representative democracy as a modus operandi, in favour of a more plebiscitary politics. To do that would be a disaster.
As I argued in a pre-poll post last summer, I’m anti-Brexit, but I’m more frightened of living in a country that uses referendums.
This is a short extract, with minor edits from a post that I wrote last year.