17 May Brexit Reloaded
When in 2016 Cameron declared that we’d be able to vote, as a nation, whether to remain a member of the EU, I initially felt this seemed like a reasonable idea even though it was obvious that it was more about unifying the Tory party than about national interest. So the 2 sides – for the media decided that there could only be 2 sides, gathered their forces (and funds) and began the process of firing cheap pot shots at each other. Lapped up by the media, their feeble arguments, on both sides, trivialised the whole process and ignored the complexities and indeed some major arguments about Europe.
For a long time my determination that the fledgling democratic process we have in this country was more precious than a really bad decision, has meant I couldn’t support a people’s (2nd) vote even though it was logical. The country had decided and that was final. The problem was though, as has been illustrated time and again by recent events, is that that decision had no plan backing it. Putting aside the dubious campaigns run; for the Remain by Cameron initially, whose ineptitude and feeble arguments to remain in Europe must have been music to the ear of the leave camp, whose lies, untraceable funding and hidden agendas (or not so hidden support for the City of London cronies) as the case may be, the fact is that no side had a detailed plan for either remaining or exiting. And yes a plan for remain should have been at the heart of any argument to remain as here was an opportunity to reign in Europe’s excesses and lack of transparency and lack of democratic process at it’s heart. The Leave campaigns’ complete absence of any idea about the reality and complexity of leaving is simply beyond belief and showed complete contempt for the people of the UK – especially those that supported leave in principle who have been utterly betrayed.
Regardless of each individuals belief about Europe, surely one thing that we can all agree is that the entire process from start to the present day (March 2019 – PM May has just lost another vote with days to go until crashing out with no deal), has been entirely mishandled.
So surely we can agree it’s time to reload the entire process building upon what we, as a nation, have learned about Europe, about ourselves but more importantly we can unite around the idea that the entire process has been utterly and completely mishandled and corrupted.
There should be no such thing as a second vote that simply says In or Out of Europe – we know the issue is much more complex than that. Also, if we simply repeat this oversimplified vote then the Leave campaign will promote it as an end to democracy or worse if they lose and Remain campaign will find someone (probably the Russians) to blame if they lose a 2nd time.
No, reloaded means each campaign and this probably means more than 2 (In or Out) campaigns, reflecting and respecting the complexity, has to be based around a detailed plan and it would be these competing detailed plans that we ultimately have a vote on. So no-one can say that it’s a 2nd vote but simply a completely re-worked referendum on our future relations with Europe. So perhaps it would look something like:
- Greater autonomy from Europe; similar to a soft Brexit but actually thought through
- Complete exit from Europe; similar to No Deal except completely thought through both in respect of the details but also with a specific vision of how the UK would function outside of the EU.
- Complete exit as above but with a Green New Deal for Britain at it’s core, with renewable energy, environmental protection and priority at it’s heart and a total rejection of the UK as a tax haven for the super rich and dirty money.
- Remain exactly as we are; similar to the current remain campaign which has shown itself to have no intent on improving the EU.
- Remain but with conditions and a determination to democratise the European Commission and the ECB.
- Remain but with the above conditions also tied to a Green New Deal for Britain at it’s core, with renewable energy, environmental protection and priority at it’s heart and a total rejection of the UK as a tax haven for the super rich and dirty money.
The fact that the media won’t like trying to micro-manage 6 or more campaigns (for years their staple has been pick the blue team or the red team and let’s have a massive punch up in the pub car park refereed by the BBC or Sky News) should not prevent us from implementing the idea. No, reloaded also means forcing the press, by a new law if necessary, to report each campaigns’ arguments in an equal and unbiased way. Learning from our experience of the past 2-3 years we could avoid many of the mistakes and provide greater protection from corruption of each campaign by dirty money or other forms of deceit.
Each campaign must have a website and ensure absolute transparency in respect of supporters, especially high profile political or financial supporters, it’s funding and of course it’s aims. There should be a number of points that each campaign must address in addition to it’s own specific objectives both in concept and in the detail, for example:
Environmental protection and priorities
Energy production (ie each campaign must be specific on it’s support or otherwise for renewable energy)
Pollution (specific proposal for eliminating all forms of pollution with specific plans for aviation and shipping)
Specific proposals for how central banks should operate (including – if Remain – operation of ECB).
In addition to these specific points each campaign needs to ensure that its integrity is protected from dark money, from civil servant interference, from foreign interference and from press bias.
If Europe allow an extension to article 50 then it’s likely to be for a minimum of 21 months. This should be a reasonable time period for each campaign to mobilise, drawing up their detailed plans and vision. Then publish and promote and then finally a totally new referendum voting on one of 6 or more detailed campaigns.