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What the hell is the point of Brexit?


There was never any cake! Everything many wanted to say about Brexit written down eloquently and succinctly by the only Steve Bullock. Time to take the facts to the people of Britain!


“All the justifications for Brexit are being dismantled,” Green MEP Molly Scott Cato recently argued.

Let’s have a look at some of the key ones.


We will take back control of our borders.

· The UK Government has committed, rightly, to an invisible border for Northern Ireland.

· The UK Government wants frictionless borders elsewhere.


No, we meant people not goods. We will end the ‘freedom of movement’.

· The UK Government is set to propose something very similar to the current ‘freedom of movement’ regime.


But we will have control of our own rules, and cut out red tape.

· The CBI (Confederation of British Industry, which in total speaks for 190,000 businesses that employ 7 million people) and the TUC (Trades Union Congress, representing the majority of trade unions with a total of about 5.6 million members) have begged the UK Government to maintain EU regulations in almost all sectors of the economy.

· An invisible border in Northern Ireland will require maintaining most of the rules of the Single Market.


We will attract the brightest and the best.

· There is a nursing shortage as EU27 nurses are leaving the country and are not being replaced.

· 100 Non-EU doctors have been denied visas.

· The brightest and the best are actually looking for somewhere less, well, hostile.


According to LinkedIn analysis the UK has been losing talent since the #brexit referendum. (Twitter/@Haggis_UK/BBC)


We will strike swashbuckling trade deals.

· An invisible border in Northern Ireland requires a (the) full Customs Union.

· The UK is now begging third countries to roll-over EU trade agreements.

· Third countries are not interested until a deal is done with the European Union.

· Deals are likely to be worse than the ones we currently have through the European Union.


But we will be Global Britain.

· Britain’s global influence has diminished in foreign policy, security, standards and soft power.

· Non-EU trade deals will only replace a fraction of the trade lost due to hard Brexit, and not all of what would be lost by a soft Brexit (if we could make them).


“There will be no downside...”

· Brexit is already harming the poorest most, with higher inflation, particularly on food, and falling real wages.

· The UK Government’s own analysis shows economic losses for every version of Brexit, even those that aren’t available.


“... and a considerable upside.”

· See above.

· Not even now a pretence that this is anything other than damage limitation.


Click here!!


But sovereignty, dammit!

· There will be a transition period in which Britain accepts almost the entire body of EU law with virtually no say.

· The only solution to the Northen Ireland border issue is that this continues after transition for Single Market and Customs Union rules.

· Sovereignty was always shared, but never lost.



“We hold all the cards” (Michael Gove) / “It will be the easiest deal ever” (Liam Fox) / “They need us more than we need them” (Nigel Farage) ...

· Aye, right.

· Britain has, so far, capitulated on almost every issue.

· 4 months after begging to open trade talks, the UK Government hasn’t agreed its own policy.

· The EU27 will protect the integrity of the Single Market at all costs.


Liam Fox: “The easiest FTA in the History of mankind.” (Twitter/@Jim_Cornelius)

David Davis: “The day after Brexit happens the chief executives of Volkswagen, BMW, Audi etc.
will all be queuing up saying we've got to have access 16bn market.” (Twitter/@Jim_Cornelius)


We will make no more payments to the EU budget.

· £39bn divorce bill (actually likely to be quite a bit bigger, in my honest opinion).

· Britain will need to pay to participate in EU programmes and agencies (if it is permitted to participate).


Citizens will have the exact same rights.

· EU27 Citizens in the UK will lose rights.

· UK Citizens in the EU will lose rights.

· UK Citizens in the UK too will lose rights (e.g. their EU freedom of movement and EU citizenship rights).


“There will be no change for EU citizens already lawfully resident in the UK. These EU citizens will automatically be granted indefinite leave to remain in the UK and will be treated no less favourably than they are at present.” (Michael Gove, Boris Johnson, Priti Patel, and Gisela Stuart, 1 June 2016)


But you don’t understand, it is about the kind of country we want to be...

· Windrush.

· Hostile Environment.

· Xenophobic attacks and abuse.

· Abuse of judges, civil servants and Parliamentarians.



Daily Mail


The Daily Telegraph

... and taking our place in the world.

· The rest of the world is astonished by Britain’s “act of self-harm”.

· Britain’s closest neighbours and allies are exasperated and distrustful.

· Britain’s global reputation is at an all time low.


It will work for everyone.

· Devolved Governments have systematically been ignored and deliberately disempowered.

· The UK Government figures show the poorest regions will be harmed most.

· The TUC warns of 100,000 job losses in the North-East of England.


It is democracy.

· A weak mandate and a government without a majority.

· No mandate or agreement on which version of Brexit we should have.

· Little support for any of the versions available.

· Democracy allows for a rethink.


So what is left?

What the hell is the point of Brexit?🔷


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(This piece was first published as a Twitter thread and turned into the above article with the purpose of reaching a larger audience. It has been minorly edited and corrected.)


(Cover: Dreamstime/Carlos Caetano.)


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Immigrant, Musician, Sound Engineer, ex-negotiator for UK in EU, Brexit geek for Alyn Smith MEP (views mine, not his), anti-Brexit campaigner, CakeWatch co-host.
Brussels, Belgium, EU. Website

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