Johnson’s call to “Get Brexit Done” is a slogan that is bound to appeal to the millions of voters who are fed up with the Brexit Ordeal and just want the whole disturbing process brought to early closure. We have already endured over 3 years of agony and uncertainty. We have seen our families and communities deeply split between those who want to stay in Europe and those who want to get out of the European Union. The sooner we can put Brexit behind us the better.
But “Get Brexit Done”, like so many of Johnson’s utterings, is deliberately misleading. It seems to imply that, once a decision has been taken to leave the EU, this will be the end of the story and we can immediately return to our normality. This could not be further from the truth.
The trouble is that any Brexit deal – whether hard or soft; May’s, Iohnson’s or Corbyn’s – will simply start yet another round of negotiations that could drag on for years and years This is because the ‘deal’ is only an agreement between Britain and the EU to go on their separate ways – a kind of exit ticket from decades of peaceful cohabitation.
Johnson’s proposed deal makes no firm commitments about the kind of arrangements he intends to put in place for future cooperation with our European neighbours. If it has taken more than 3 years since the referendum to come close to agreeing on the substance of the exit deal – and we are still not there – it seems bound to take quite as long again to decide on the type of future relationship we want and to complete the necessary negotiations.
So the call to “Get Brexit Done” may, at first sight, sound attractive but, when we start to think what it actually means, it is an invitation for us to give Boris a blank cheque to prolong for many more years the uncertainties which have been so unsettling to us as individuals and damaging to the economy. Negotiating new agreements on how to arrange future cooperation will be fiendishly complicated and fraught with controversy.
It is probably too much to expect Boris and his hard-line Brexiteers to come clean with us about the full implications of pursuing any Brexit deal but we should at least ask them for straight answers to a few basic questions before the forthcoming election.
- Is it true that, according to official estimates, any Brexit deal is bound to leave Britain economically worse off than the present arrangements with the EU?
- If so, what is your rationale for calling on us to support a seriously self-damaging proposal?
- How many years, from the date of an exit deal, is it likely to take to put in place new arrangements for cooperation with the remaining 27 governments?
- Why are you, as Prime Minister, not making it clear to voters that approving a Brexit deal will prolong the “Brexit Ordeal” for several more years?”
If you’re a voter whose main wish is to “Get Brexit REALLY Done” quickly, the only option is to stop the Brexit process in its tracks right now. This could not be easier. At the stroke of a Prime Ministerial pen, the Brexit Ordeal can be brought to an end today – without any further negotiations or assent from the EU member governments – and we can immediately get on with our normal lives again.
The Conservative party started the Brexit process and its current leadership seduced many us into thinking that life outside the EU would be Utopian. Instead, the government has messed up our lives for the past 3 years, deeply wounded the economy and Britain’s international standing, and put the unity of the UK at risk. They have completely failed to find an acceptable Brexit solution, causing huge collateral damage. They cannot be trusted to do any better in yet another period in office so please vote tactically to keep them out of Downing Street.