Bristling Brock speaks out...


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I find it strange that we have two ex-PM's - Major and Blair - declaring very strong anti-Brexit messages at this point in time.   Brexit has been a legally mandated course since June, 2016 and whilst we have heard periodic murmurings from these fellows since that date we now have a fairly vociferous lambasting of the case for leaving (such as it is at this moment).   Both ex-PM's have said how they have always railed against Brexit and that both Labour and Conservative politicians now are not being honest enough about the consequences.   Perhaps the truth of those last few words is that nobody, including ex-PM's know what the actual consequences may be and nor do they have any insight into what the EU may become in the post-Brexit era.   Whilst everyone is entitled to their point of view the projection of fear with the sole aim of reversing the referendum outcome is politically nasty and based upon the individual attitudes of these two individuals.   They have no idea of what the outcome will be, they have no idea of the wide range of factors that influenced the Leave vote and denigrating the wisdom, intelligence and foresight of those that did vote Brexit is a poor and shabby way of slinging mud.

I doubt anybody has a vision of some Utopian Britain emerging out of Brexit and there will no doubt be all manner of problems and short-term crises that will need to be ironed out - but that is  essentially the challenge of regaining sovereignty, judicial and legislative autonomy, migratory control and the freedom to trade wherever we wish on terms of mutual interest.   Within the EU we have none of this and business is strangled by the proliferation of EU bureaucracy.    Yes, Brexit entails risk - but are we so risk averse as to not see the opportunities that this country could make ?   Are we so in thrall of the fear factor that we will be made to crumble at the last fence ?    The opportunities to widen our trading affairs, become more global, develop our smart technologies, revamp our agricultural systems and provide businesses with the hope of growth and development - these are the things, on top of the political advantages that we should be shouting about.   And the danger we face here is that the vocal Remainers are commanding the air-waves and media in pouring scorn on the sense of Brexit; where is the government, and the Opposition - both committed to the principle of Brexit (or so they say) - taking the up-beat angle on this debate ?   The answer, of course, is that they are not.   Not only is our governance weak and flabby, so is the function of the Opposition.   As in any debate, there are two sides and multiple viewpoints, but let there be a balanced airing of these views.   Our government and Opposition need to step-up to the plate. 

The EU's draft position document on what it thinks is Britain's position - or more correctly, what it thinks Britain's position should be has, ostensibly, been rejected by the government not least over the wrangle of the Northern Ireland-Ireland border - the EU's preference for a sort of customs union arrangement to continue in practice.   The PM rejects this on the basis that a soft border in Ireland would essentially destroy the cohesion of the UK - and in a constitutional sense she is probably right to believe that - but we must not let this issue, thorny as it may be, dominate the Phase 2 discussions.   One of the overriding values of the British constitution is that nothing is actually written down and set in tablets of stone - it is an unwritten constitution, deliberately formulated by our forefathers to enable flexibility, adaptation and wisdom to become integral to its interpretation.   And we have been interpreting that constitution for centuries and need to do so again now.   The Irish question is important but it must not de-rail the wider negotiation of Brexit - we have the common sense, within these shores, to create a solution, but we do need front-men and women who are committed to seeing the wider picture and the wider advantage to the course they are committed to following.    I really hope my long-standing doubts over the skill and commitment of our politicians in Phase 2 are proven baseless...

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