Remainers In Need

The end of this month marks a year since the UK invoked Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, setting in motion the two year countdown to our exit. How’s it going so far, you ask? Not so good. Brexit is best described as the undefined, negotiated by the unprepared to deliver the unspecified on behalf of the uninformed. It’s clear that the promises and benefits of the Leave campaign are undeliverable – but they knew that. We clearly do not hold all the cards. It’s clear that the progress of negotiations with the EU amounts to repeatedly kicking a can of worms down the road, for fear of the war of words within the Conservative Party turning in a government toppling revolt.

It’s become clear that the EU is going to win each round of talks, handsomely. They do have a plan, a united script to read from and the genuine interest of the EU at heart, rather than fighting an internal battle. It’s becoming clearer that unity with the EU is more important than ever in the face of Russian hostility and the unpredictable and incoherent ‘policy’ coming out of the US. If the Brexit that was promised, or anything closely resembling it, cannot be delivered, then what mandate is there for delivering Brexit at all. None, is the simple answer. Yet the process goes on. Tick tock.

What to do? It’s never been more important that a second referendum called. And it’s vital that the second referendum lays the facts down straight. Provides an honest choice. We can remain in the EU and keep the status quo. Or we leave in the form of the hardest Brexit. No trade deal. No divorce payment. Potentially no deal on Open Skies, WTO membership and other vital international treaties. This is the deal that the Hard Brexiters want. This is what they’re trying to force through. And it’s mighty disingenuous of Theresa May to promise that she can stop them. Because she’s shown no sign of trying to do so thus far.

The electorate could still vote for that Brexit, I guess. But there is a way to both focus minds and to prepare for the worst. To apply direct consequence to the individual decision. To oblige the voter, as far as one can, to apply rational thought to the decision making process. Voters should be allowed to enter the booth and cast their ballot. But names will be recorded against the vote cast. It shouldn’t be an anonymous vote. We all have to live with our decisions in the real world. This is a matter of huge import. And Brexit is the biggest gamble of this century so far. It rather looks like a Ponzi scheme. Vote Brexit and live with the consequences. On a personal level.

We need a fall back. If the UK is growing at a substantially lower rate that the EU, or enters recession, and it can be demonstrably shown to be due to leaving the EU*, then Brexit voting seniors should forego their pensions. And lose their other benefits, such as free bus passes and television licenses. Brexit must be paid for. Leave voting workers should forego pay rises, in order that Remain voters receive pay rises that keep up with inflation. Leave voters should have other tax credits and benefits suspended, so that Remain voters can continue to keep up with ‘what would have been’. Leavers are first out the door when redundancies occur. Without redundancy payments.

I’m not suggesting Leave voters be forced to wear yellow stars. I’m suggesting rosettes, with yellow and purple design. They were happy to wear them before, so I see no problem. If a Remain voter passes a freezing Leave pensioner, begging in the street – then he should be able to help him or herself to the change to buy a coffee at Starbucks. Although I’m not a complete bastard. The Remain voter should first ensure that there are no Leavers in the queue at Starbucks to finance the coffee purchase.

These saved redundancy, pension and other payments can be used to create a new charitable fund, called Remainers In Need. A new Brexit Tax on Leave voters can also contribute to Remainers In Need. And best of all, newspapers that campaigned for Brexit will have a 100% tax added, to make sure that Remainers In Need gets all the help it requires. Children In Need should be scrapped and replaced with Remainers In Need. The normal system of voluntary donations by phone or text should be replaced with an automatic charge to Leavers bills.

Of course, there will be those who try and cheat the system. Hence the new ITV show, Brexiter Busters. A canny team hunting down Leave voters who are still in social housing or taking up hospital beds when there are Remainers without. We can watch with smug satisfaction as 90 year old Ethel, a slightly racist Brexiter is turfed out of her intensive care bed and dumped in the street. If the nation must live on the bread line, then those who voted to do so should be feeding off the scraps, and not sitting pretty at the front of the queue.

Am I being vindictive, do you think? A little bit mean spirited? Just plain nasty? I’d say so. Provocatively so. I freely acknowledge as much. I’m not immune to the ‘mood of Brexit’. Why should I be? I won’t be immune to its consequences. And you may think my fallback plan is extreme and unreasonable. Not so. Leave voters are, by and large, on board. Happy to sign up to it. Really, I kid you not. But the real purpose today, is to convey the true spirit of the UK in 2018 to those of you who live overseas. The division. The disgust. The contempt. And I did not even touch on the continuing issue of xenophobia. We are in a sorry state here, we truly are.

*I don’t really need to be told about the difficulties and controversies of these sort of assessments.



4 thoughts on “Remainers In Need

  1. So what happens to the “remain” voters when the EU collapses in a vortex of failed Italian banks, a bankrupt Greece, and a wobbly France? Or, heaven forbid, (but not impossible) a collapse of Deutsche Bank? Have you thought out what dire punishments should be dished out to the remainers in that circumstance?

    And why will it be such a disaster to trade with Europe on the same terms as the USA trades with Europe? Europe doesn’t buy our stuff because they are being charitable; they buy it because it suits their needs. I’m sure it’s the same with the British goods they purchase.

    By the way, in case you had forgotten, Britain is quite capable of creating its own disasters regardless of whether it’s part of the EU or not. There’s plenty of fuel for a new disaster-fire that has been created over the years. If that blows up post-Brexit, is it the fault of Brexit or something else? Answering that question will be well nigh impossible, but politicians will make of it what they will.

    I’ll give you Trump as an analogy. While there’s plenty to dislike, the predicted disaster of his being president hasn’t happened. And doesn’t appear likely to happen either. Brexit will likely be the same: better in practise than the fear mongers will have you believe now.


    Kim G
    Redding, CA
    Where there’s a movement afoot to separate from California.


    • So what happens to the “remain” voters when the EU collapses in a vortex of failed Italian banks, a bankrupt Greece, and a wobbly France?

      How would that affect the UK any differently if we remain in or leave the EU? There will be a knock on effect to our economy, no doubt, either way. But the UK is not part of the Eurozone. You’ve made this argument before, but it just isn’t relevant to the issue at hand.

      And why will it be such a disaster to trade with Europe on the same terms as the USA trades with Europe?

      Besides the number of US products that are banned or restricted in the EU, particularly in agriculture and the chemicals industry? Besides the tariffs that will make us less competitive and less likely to benefit from future investment? Besides our geographical location which makes trade eith the EU more important for us than for the US? Besides the fact that our economy has been interwoven with the EU for the last four decades? Besides all the key regulatory bodies and functions that we would now need to institute at our own expense?

      I could go on. But I don’t feel that there is any real value in comparing US-EU trade and UK-EU trade. Chalk and cheese. But we need to define disaster, por favor. Every job lost, every house repossessed, every pension fund that goes bust is a life changing disaster for someone.

      Britain is quite capable of creating its own disasters…if that blows up post-Brexit, is it the fault of Brexit or something else? Answering that question will be well nigh impossible….

      Oh indeed we are! And the politicians will attribute blame to the other side, as is their want. The historians will attribute blame with a greater degree of objectivity later. But if the UK demonstrably loses a chunk of its economy through jobs to the continent, and we enter recession at a time that the EU is growing, it’s going to be tough to form a sensible argument that Brexit isn’t a contributary factor.

      While there’s plenty to dislike, the predicted disaster of his being president hasn’t happened. And doesn’t appear likely to happen either.

      Again, we need to define disaster. But regardless, I’ll run with an argument counter to your view, but based on your view. I know from many previous chats we’ve had, that you are reasonably convinced that there is a financial catastrophe in the making, one that will be far more damaging that the crises of the latter part of the previous decade. Given that the economy at present is at the top of the cycle, isn’t this the time to pay back debts and/or save for a cushion to help get out of the next trough? Arguably, Trump’s greatest impact on the US economy was a swathe of tax cuts. Which, regardless of any merit in any particular area, and regardless of the fact that they can probably be defined as swamp-like behaviour to the benefit of the Wall St, will increase US debt liabilities rather than decrease them.

      Is it unfair, then, for me to assert that Trump has thrown fuel on the coming financial disaster, rather than mitigated against it? Is it unfair to assert that this is not the sort of fiscal responsibility you’d have hoped for? Will it be entirely unfair of me, in the event of a financial meltdown, to point to Trump and accuse him of contributing to that disaster at a time when he should have been making some sort of effort to prevent it?

      Brexit will likely be the same: better in practise than the fear mongers will have you believe now.

      If, as looks likely, Brexit does come to pass, then I hope so. I’ve never claimed that the world will end. But the most likely outcome, by far, is that we’ll be demonstrably worse of. Indeed, there’s no logical, coherent argument that I’ve ever come across, from either side, to suggest otherwise.

      Where there’s a movement afoot to separate from California.

      Serious question. On the basis that California is a net contributer to the federal budget, and feels that federal law is out of step with their own sensibilities, would California’s economy benefit from seceding? Putting up borders, charging tariffs, developing it’s own currency, leaving all the US regulatory bodies etc etc.


  2. Colm says:

    All you have to do Gary is look at the map and peer at that little country to the left of yours just beyond the Isle of Mann. The havoc and mayhem and IOU’s inflicted on five million people by an ungrateful EU to a member state could be representative of a similar fate being planned for your departure.
    Although your population of fifty three million would be well able to absorb such a fine it would only be a matter of time before your government would start to create extra taxes to compensate for a lack of funds from the EU. At one time Britain had the so called Commonwealth to draw from but it exists today in name only and in history books and as you well know past laurels won’t feed an army! From what I have read your police force and military has been more than decimated and I’m sure whatever plans NATO has for you will have to honoured.
    I’ve always found it despicable that ordinary people are held accountable for misdeeds of relatively paltry matters but government ministers are exempt after blatant lies and mismanagement and get a golden handshake and hearty pension and a ticket to ride the bus and train.
    At least you do have a bolt hole of sorts and could conceivably return to blogging in an alternate climate. But will you have to deal with an exit tax? Will your travel be restricted? I wonder will inheritance tax be revoked and will the government swipe a gratuity from your bank account much like Cyprus’ 47.5 percent of savings? You never know what scullduggery they will come up with as we all know they are above the law!


    • Ireland’s problem was a bit different to what we UKers currently face. As I mentioned to Kim, EU problems and Eurozone problems are two very different beasts. Germany is influential in the former, which we are currently dealing with. It, arguably, is the latter.

      These are interesting times!


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