A Militant Remainer’s Response to Prof Hix
The British media has done a great job infantilising resistance to the craziness of Brexit with stories along the lines of Remainers suffering bereavement, and having to work through their emotions. It seems that the creation of a brand new Brexit government headed by the anti-immigrant 21st century version of Thatcher has allowed everyone to accept the inevitable and fall in line. What was unthinkable only a few weeks ago, what was derided as suicidaly stupid by almost all experts, is now a matter for the civil service to organise, an issue for finding the correct negotiators to send to Brussels so we can “make Brexit a success”.
There is a lot here to unpick, but this is not why I am writing this post. I am writing this post as a response to the LSE Blog contribution of Simon Hix. In this blog post the author urges ‘militant’ Remainers to accept the inevitability of Brexit and try to work something out that will minimise the impacts. There is discussion about different models for Brexit and the way in which an EEA deal may safeguard to some extent the 4 freedoms (people, goods, services and capital), and why various approaches may take us closer or further from the status quo of full EU membership. There is a debate, to which Prof Hix contributes with his article, on structuring a pro-Europe Brexit, something that Remainers can put forward to forestall the most extreme dreams of Ukipers.
I actually thought this was an interesting idea and started investigating different models of not quite full EU membership in trying to see whether one would be appropriate for the UK, considering the Brexit mandate just received.
Then I stopped.
The answer to the Professor’s proposal is no. There will be no “pro-European” version of Brexit.
Leavers made this mess and they will be the ones to try and work out the impossible. Mr Davis, with his stunning ignorance of law and international trade relations will need to explain to us how he can work out individual bilateral agreements with EU members, when the EU has exclusive competence to discuss trade.
Liam Fox, with his background of doing the right thing by his friends will need to tell us how he intends to achieve splicing up the 4 freedoms to keep what he likes best.
Mr Johnson, will need to explain how his rhetoric of keeping close relations with Europe, keeping Britain at the heart of Europe etc will be achieved after just smacking the door in Europe’s face in an attempt to ‘take back control’.
Mrs May will need to explain to us (primarily) and Europe (secondly) how a career built on scaremongering about immigrants, hatred of human rights and due process, disrespect for British values and Thatcherite dreams will translate into a fight for greater equality and opportunities for those ‘left behind’ by the very policies she espoused all her life.
The best relationship Britain can have with Europe is to be a member of the EU. Everything else is unsatisfactory. Everything else is a bad deal. Everything else leaves us worse off. Everything else will be a disappointment not only to Remainers, but crucially to the 17 million who voted for Brexit.
And you know what? We Remainers should not help May’s Brexit government achieve a ‘good’ or ‘acceptable’ deal. We Remainers should come out for what is right and true. We Remainers should make the case for Europe, for cooperation, for immigration. We Remainers should make a progressive case for Europe that contains the UK as part of the EU and strive to make the EU better from within. We Remainers should let the Brexit government and the Leaver crowds sleep in the bed they made.
And you know what? Even if we were to imagine, craft and propose a deal that can satisfy Leavers, something like EEA-minus, why on earth would Mrs May accept it? The truth dear reader is that we do not have the slightest idea what the Brexit government wants to do, intends to do, or is capable of doing.
Following the suggestion of Prof. Hix and proposing anything that is accommodating to Leavers means that we abandon the higher ground and we become complicit to the destruction of this country.
No collaboration, no compromise, no help to those who seek to destroy this country.
Let them explain to their mob the mistakes that they made. The country will emerge better off once they have failed.