Thursday, June 14, 2018

Labour MPs are revolting

It seems that some Labour MPs don't want to share the bed with the Conservatives over their Brexit plans (I use the word "plans" loosely as it is difficult to work out whether or not the government has any plans at all). 75 Labour MPs rebelled and voted to keep us in the EEA and effectively in the Single Market. The Labour line was for Labour MPs to help the Tories by sitting on the fence. 15 however joined up with the Tories in the division lobby. They clearly know who their friends are.

I've said it before and I say it again now: this country needs to accept the consequences of its own actions and decision. As a nation, the "will of the people" is that we leave the EU. I totally and fundamentally disagree with that decision and will continue to argue that it was the wrong one. After all, we live in a democracy. But a referendum was held and a decision made. We are leaving. That means we are leaving all the benefits as well. It means departing from the drug, science, environmental agencies and all the other bodies that will now have to be expensively replicated back in the UK. It means we do not have the benefits of being in the Single Market and therefore our exports will have barriers in the way. But that is the will of the people. We can't claim all the benefits of membership without paying the costs or operating by the rules. If you are a member of the club, you enjoy the benefits. If you walk away from the club, you are no longer entitled to the advantages that come with membership.

So both the Brexiteers and the Labour party need to stop pushing this claim that we can be outside at the same time as claiming the benefits of being inside.

But at the same time, we need to remember we live in a democracy. That means people have the right to change their mind. The will of the people is not set in stone. Once the actual Brexit package is clear, the people need to have the final say on whether it lives up to what was offered in 2016 or it is better to stick with current EU membership. Such a referendum would be held in the light of the agreed Brexit package rather than the fog of an unknown system of doing business. I would certainly accept the outcome of that vote.

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