The Smoke and Mirrors of Brexit

There’s little to add to Brexit beyond this engaging interview with Fintan O’Toole in October, who expertly draws on the ignored rise of English nationalism post-2008 to his knowledge of Irish issues – how many of us know that all Northern Irish citizens have the right to EU citizenship regardless of Brexit?

Of course that won’t stop me with a few additional points from the general Brexit narrative that have bugged me for month; two acts of cowardice and an ugly boil of a truth no one wants unmasked.

Cowardice Part One

  • The Tory extreme Brexiters lead by the right honourable member of the 18th Century

Their No Deal is a sham. They will back down. They have neither clout or clue how to manage this outcome and they know it, but it makes for great political grandstanding. These are people who need something to run against, otherwise they will fade into oblivion. Without the EU to rail against they have nothing and don’t have the wherewithal to lead Britain through a No Deal scenario.

Faced between Theresa May’s Deal and the chance of another referendum they will back down and likely abstain. It’s manna from heaven to them. As Britain struggles with the reset of May’s deal they’ll be able to continue their narrative of the deal not being good enough, no deal would have been better, we told you so blah. You can see this coming from a mile away – I saw it an aged cheddar ago. The strongest recent hint is Nigel Farage creating a new anti-EU party, because, surprise, his original UKIP have become a bunch of racists.

Cowardice Part Two

The unchallenged narrative of another referendum being anti-democratic that even Remainers buy the argument you can’t keep having referendums until you get the result you want. 

Wrong. Let me break this into bite-size pieces:

  • The referendum was held in an absence of truth rendering it the most undemocratic act in modern political British history.

  • Referendums on the same issue are often held again.  

  • If the Brexit vote had been reversed in 2016…

Do you think Brexit leaders for one minute would have said the country had decided once and for all, that’s it, bye, I’m off to my holiday home in the Cayman Islands! Think about it, because I could gush on forever. We know they would be spluttering on about how the vote was non-binding, and how it showed a clear appetite to leave the EU.

One of the most dangerous acts toward British democracy was the narrative of Britain has decided.

Nearly half of those who participated were silenced and ridiculed as remoaners and even worse, traitors.

  • The absence of the Official Opposition

Yep gone with the wind. The lack of political leadership to argue the case for another referendum on May’s deal is astonishing. The silencing and lack of opposition leadership has led to a situation where 42% of Brits are okay with a No Deal Brexit.  

The Ugly Boil of a Truth

It’s actually quite easy to debunk, okay, argue effectively against almost all the reasons to leave the EU.

  • Sovereignty - the UK parliament has sovereignty over Britain. Can I stop there? 

  •  The EU has never stopped a law being passed in Britain. Can I stop there?

  •  As a member of the EU, Britain has exchanged control of standards for products made in the UK for influence in setting standards across the EU which allows manufacturers to sell across the single market. It’s also known as common sense.

  • When the UK leaves the EU and the single market, it still has to obey these rules if it wants to sell to the EU, but without having any say. That’s a dramatic loss of power.

Brexit leaders tend to operate in a vacuum of reality and a swamp of hubris. They’ll give us (Canada) a better trade deal than we have with EU. 

Too fucking right (and not just because I can wave a blue passport in your face).

We’re going to get a better deal from the UK outside of the EU, because they’re in a weaker position, but will Britain?

  •  If Britain was unhappy with any of the 60 trade deals negotiated by the EU, it could have vetoed them

  •  Why would you want to renegotiate with sixty countries from a weaker position?

And on it goes, you can take down one key argument after another with simple logic, until you’re left with one emotive issue, the most tangible visual change, one that triggers fear, loss of a culture.


Leaving aside Britain could have had more control over immigration, but decided against it, there’s an uncomfortable ugly boil of a truth. A nation of well meaning, reasonable people cannot see themselves as intolerant, xenophobic, and racist.

The rest is smoke and mirrors