I gave up on BBC Radio Five Live this morning within something like 30 seconds when a caller explained he just “sick to the back teeth of Brexit and just wanted a clean break (from the EU)”. Most Tories and leave voters want a so-called ‘clean break’ by a no deal crash out because they believe it will enable the government to concentrate on other priorities. This is the lie, perpetrated by Farage and co, that has got through to many people. In truth, a ‘clean break’ would set us back three and a half years. It would be like leaving the EU all over again and starting from scratch.
This the reality that is driving me mad. I am consciously avoiding all programmes on TV and the radio when Brexit is in the news, which is pretty well all the time. I want it to end, to move on. But it won’t, especially with a no deal.
Day one after a no deal and we have to deal with the divorce bill. We still have to deal with citizens’ rights. We will still have to deal with the Irish border. And worse still, there will be no transition deal. We will start trading on WTO terms with Europe which will be ruinous for many businesses and indeed entire industries. In other words, Brexit will still dominate the media, probably even more than it does now.
Of course, we were never told this by the chief Brexiters. Liam Fox said it would be the “easiest deal in human history” and Michael Gove said we would “hold all the cards” in future negotiations. Lies, lies and Brexit lies, told by the illiberal elite.
None of the reasons why so many people voted to leave the EU would be addressed by a crash-out Brexit. Whilst an elite few would continue to make fortunes from Brexit, the people who would suffer most from Brexit are either ignored or told more lies.
There is no such thing as a clean break. We either have a deal and an orderly exit from the EU or we have a messy, expensive departure which will last years, maybe even decades. Or – and this is still not my preferred option – we don’t leave at all.