On Twitter: @JamesFirth and @s_r_o_c (post feed)

Got a tip? tip@sroc.eu

Saturday, 25 June 2016

Finding the way forwards will mean understanding why we're here

Well, what can I say. I wasn't 100% supportive of the EU but that doesn't mean I wasn't anything other than 100% behind our membership and 0% behind Brexit, and nothing has changed in my thinking.

A rational analysis of the alternatives clearly showed, and still does show, the EU is our best option forwards. Not a half-baked "Norway Model" or anything else but full membership.

I see the choice is between 2 imperfect alternatives but that doesn't mean I'm in any way less upset about the result. I think we've set ourselves on a ridiculous path to economic hardship and social upheaval and I'm both devastated and deeply worried about our country's future.

I fear the wounds opened by the first referendum will be hard to close with a second, a petition for which must surely reach 3-6 million signatures by the start of the week... I signed it anyway - and I don't want these to be famous last words - but it can't hurt to try.

The fundamental mistake of Cameron and Osborne was to polarise opinion around a problem rather than a solution - particularly at a time when there are a lot of people in the country who don't feel particularly well off, people who feel their social mobility level is positively in reverse.

Amongst this large dissatisfied underbelly those unwilling to pin the blame on any passing immigrant are nevertheless willing to believe vastly inflated sums of money we'd "save" from leaving the EU would be spent on fixing their and their country's problems.

When people who currently have very little are offered a choice to remain as your are or try something different they are going to vote for change.

Yet, having said all this, maybe a second referendum now we're all facing the abyss is actually the way forwards.

Few amongst the electorate can see into the future with enough clarity to realise many of the claims of Project Fear were well founded. Many wanted to push the button out of frustration, to see what would happen.

The shock of the last 36 hours represents a material change in the outlook and things are clearer now for many I'm sure.

If a second referendum managed to pull above 60% of the population behind Remain it might just be enough to close the box, but to get there I'm convinced there'll need to be something material on offer for the large number of people trapped in a society where the rich have got richer, the poor have got poorer and social mobility has been taken back five decades.

And that would mean politicians in the UK and the EU waking up to something they have until now been reluctant to acknowledge.

As a little glimmer, one thing is different this time.

The powerful corporate institutions of the country who have the ear of Government and Parliament are overwhelmingly in favour of EU membership.

The City of London is facing a second shockwave now questions have been raised about its privileged access to European markets for financial services have been raised and a corporate merger between the London Stock Exchange and its German counterpart has been thrown into doubt by the upcoming Brexit.

Oh, and the UK has had its credit rating cut.

If the Government and Parliament get it in time, and the EU is willing, they might just find an 11th hour deal that will bring the country back behind Remain with a second referendum.


No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments will be accepted so long as they're on-topic, do not include gratuitous language and do not include personal attacks or libellous assertions.

Comments are the views of the commentator and not necessarily the view of the blog owner.

Comments on newer posts are not normally pre-moderated and the blog owner cannot be held responsible for comments made by 3rd parties.

Requests for comment removal will be considered via the Contact section (above) or email to editorial@slightlyrightofcentre.com.