Kate Hammer
Aug 28, 2016 · 7 min read

Readers of this post have said:
“Do you consent to…? Fury distilled into important questions”

“Questions that shld have been addressed BEFORE #Brexit & included on ballot. Other countries take note”

“Well worth reading these thoughtful questions from
@kate_hammer to #Leavers and #MPs on #EUref #Brexit #Article50

“ your v eloquent and measured opposition is much appreciated. You have my full support”

This piece contributes to the #NoDust on #Brexit conversation, which is now beginning Month 3. If you’re keen to stop the dust settling after the divisive referendum on the UK’s membership in the EU, join us at Conway Hall on Sep 5 in the evening, for a public gathering that’s not-a-panel, not-a-debate, but an experiment in a new form of civic conversation. Ready to book? Here’s Eventbrite. Need more event info, visit here.

The views expressed are my own, as are any errors in fact, interpretation or judgement.

The Electoral Commission over-simplified the question, and omitted the opening phrase “Do you think….” The Referendum was asking what people wish for. Now, we’re entitled to press, press, press for clear answers to hard and ugly questions.

There is a lazy assumption that the people have spoken, and now the Government should act. The burden is not on those of us who disagree with how the Referendum was designed, administered or its results (which divide the United Kingdom). The burden is on those who are calling loudly for a hard exit. Let’s hold them to account. Let’s get some answers.

At the level of the individual, Leave advocates have the burden of answering these questions:

1. Do you consent to the loss of EU citizenship of all UK nationals, including those lawfully residing on a permanent basis in other EU countries?

Show me where I got the choice whether to consent.

2. Do you consent to the stripping of your own EU citizenship, acquired by treaty or at birth?

Show me where I got the choice whether to consent.

3. Do you consent to the repatriation of the 1.2 million UK nationals currently living in the EU, including those who are retired and living on fixed pension incomes?

Show me where I got the choice whether to consent to this eventual outcome.

Oh, and while we’re at it, show me where they got the choice.
Show me where they got to vote (because, you know, they didn’t all have that right).

Oh, and then tell me how this repatriation will happen. How much force will be used? How much private property lawfully held will be seized? How will legal commitments undertaken by those you would now have repatriated by fulfilled — their obligations to local employers, to local mortgage lenders?

4. Do you consent to sacrificing the freedom of movement you have enjoyed as a tourist, traveller, student or worker in 27 other nations?

Show me where I got the choice whether to consent.

Also, tell me what new steps you or I will have to take once our access to Europe changes. How much do you think those visas are going to cost? How long are they going to take? Will the no-frills airlines still run frequent cheap services to the European continent? Will the young people who travel out of Britain want to come back?

5. Do you consent to living in a nation marked by two tiers of citizenship: those born in Northern Ireland who are entitled (under the Good Friday Agreement which is an international treaty registered with the UN) to a Republic of Ireland passport which thereby entitles them to EU citizenship, and those born elsewhere to whom this once-right-now-privilege is denied?

What do you mean, you don’t see how that would happen? Have you read the Belfast Agreement? It’s here on the UN Register. Do you see where it says how this choice will be available to anyone born in Northern Ireland? What do you mean, you don’t think that’s fair? What do you mean, you don’t care about Northern Ireland, they can sod off? Do you remember the civil war? Oh, you don’t….Well let me tell you a story or two….

There is no reckoning about enacting democracy without open discussion of these questions. Democracy is not just a vote you cast, a flag you wave, the fist bump in the air.

Published on Peterborough Today, no photographer credit given

What the dialogue needs to understand is: citizenship is not the only way of contributing to British democracy.

In the economic realm, Leave policymakers have the burden to answer any economically active individual or business in the UK who asks:

  1. Is your consent also consent to jeopardising Britain’s participation in the single market?
    Show me the mandate for jeopardarising our participation. Show me the evidence that internationally, other parties to the negotiation will protect our interests in a single market. Show me the evidence there is a true alternative market or set of markets for British businesses and British consumers.

2. Can you see that multinational manufacturers will have good justification to remove production from Britain ahead of its exit, taking with it (and very likely permanently) jobs currently held by British workers?
Why wouldn’t they? Wouldn’t you?

3. Do you accept the rising costs of capital, now that Britain’s credit rating has declined, which will make it more expensive for any government to build schools, hospitals, transport or other infrastructure?
Would you like me to show you how bonds work?

4. Do you accept that Britain’s food supply is international and that any changes to its currency value or trading relationships may reduce what food stuffs are available or affordable to you and your neighbours?

5. Do you accept that EU citizens with skills in short supply may be less willling or actually unable to move to the UK to fill jobs that would otherwise be empty in our hospitals, universities, or schools?
How does creating barriers help our hospitals, universities or schools?
How long do you think it takes to train someone as a medical doctor or nurse? How much do you think it costs?

6. Are you truly asking the government to destabilise homes, families, communities and workplaces by treating legally resident Europeans as disposable? Where did the ballot paper ask that?

The Referendum was and is an opinion poll. It was never legally a mandate. There is still no plan.

In the diplomatic realm, anyone interested in peace is entitled to ask:

June 25 article in the Irish Times galvanised me when I read it the week following #EURef Results

1. Do you consent to your nation repudiating its treaties with other nations, and accept any ramifications that may have on the stability or security of the UK?

2. Do you consent to removing the firm basis of the Belfast Agreement of 1998 which settled peace in Northern Ireland by providing a soft border permanently and means of cooperating within the common framework of the EU?

3. Do you consent to jeopardising the the Northern Irish peace settlement, bearing in mind that the Belfast Agreement ratified by the governments of the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland has been registered with the United Nations, a practice whose conception dates back to the League of Nations?

4. Do you consent to the weakening or dissolution of the United Kingdom, into constituent nations choosing their own path within or beyond the EU?

5. Do you understand that Russia is growing its military footprint and that by leaving the EU at this point in history, we are depriving the international peace conversation of a strong voice blocking Russia?

6. Do you understand that the days when the sun did not set on the British empire are long gone?

7. Whether it’s the USA, Russia or China, a Britain outside the European Union is out-paced as an economic power, a political power, a military power. Are you ready for what comes next?

There is still no plan. There are however already consequences:

From the video published by The Evening Standard on Aug 25, 2016
Sep 5, 7pm Conway Hall. Details here. Tickets here. Book now.

Need more event info, visit here.


#NoDust on Brexit

Posts relating to the questions surrounding Britain's relation with the European Union

Kate Hammer

Written by

facilitates meetings that matter, clarity+courage coach, business narrative design www.storyform.co.uk Rep’d by AM Heath, produces #NoDust IRL & here on Medium

#NoDust on Brexit

Posts relating to the questions surrounding Britain's relation with the European Union

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