Had the Brexit campaigners actually ever come up with a serious policy document outlining their plans for how to manage the Brexit transition period, and a proposal for what post-Brexit Britain was to look like, I would have given the idea of quitting the EU some serious consideration. But since there was no policy document, nor any outline of realistic objectives, it was beyond obvious that the whole thing would turn into an extraordinarily damaging let’s make it up as we go along Tory administered farce.
And just look at the state of it now:
- We’ve passed the halfway point between the Brexit vote and the deadline of March 29th 2019, we’re still completely stalled on the very first phase of the negotiations!
- Theresa May made the catastrophic decision to trigger Article 50 before her ministers even really knew what they wanted out of Brexit, then wasted two months on her spectacularly misjudged vanity election, and even now the Tory bickering is still going on. Calling a referendum with no contingency plan for what to do if people voted for Brexit was bad enough, but setting the clock ticking on the exit process before they developed a coherent plan was even more reckless.
- The fanatical hard-right faction of the Tory party are propagandising ever more loudly for a ruinous “no deal” flounce out of Europe, and they’re continuing to drag their weak and directionless leader ever closer to the economic cliff edge.
- Tories like Liam Fox are proposing reductions in UK consumer protections and product standards as part of a UK-US trade deal. Any such reductions would render access to the Single Market impossible because continued free trade between the UK and EU would create a gateway for US companies to sneak their inferior products into the European market.
- The right-wing fringe of the Tory party that are dictating Theresa May’s every move are desperate to ensure the most chaotic possible form of Brexit because they know that the ensuing economic disaster will provide rich pickings for their disaster capitalist mates, who will use the post-Brexit economic meltdown to grab £billions in British infrastructure and assets, like vultures stripping the meat off a corpse.
- The Tories are also determined to use Brexit as an excuse to erode parliamentary sovereignty by shrouding the Brexit process in secrecy, and trying to give themselves the power to rewrite thousands of UK laws with no democratic scrutiny whatever.
- Theresa May’s behaviour makes it all too clear that she’s powerless to stop the hard-right fanatics in her own party from using Brexit as a convenient Trojan horse to introduce the kinds of anti-worker policies millions of Brexit voters would abhor.
- The more moderate centre-right ‘One Nation’ type Tories seem entirely unwilling/unable to oppose the anti-democratic Blue-kip takeover of their party.
- Hard right Tories and billionaires like James Dyson are pushing ever harder to use Brexit as an opportunity to trash UK workers’ rights and to turn Britain into a huge corporate tax haven with a 0% corporation tax rate.
The extraordinary thing is that the hard-right fringe of the Tory party are still trying to pass off this shambolic lurching towards an economic cliff-edge into a hard-right abyss of disaster capitalism, trashed workers rights, and ever more giveaways to corporations and the mega-rich as the “will of the people”.
Hardly any Brexit voter will have voted the way they did because they actually wanted even more exploitation of British workers, even more handouts for corporations and the mega-rich, and a disastrous economic meltdown to make the bankers’ crisis look like a picnic in comparison. But the hard-right Brexiteers are still trying to pass off their shambolic scheming as “the will of the people” regardless.
Only a tiny fraction of Leave voters must have envisioned a Brexit that involved gutting the value of the pound; tanking the British economy; allowing vulture capitalists to buy up £billions worth of British infrastructure and assets on the cheap; binning British workers’ rights and consumer protections; trashing trading relationships with our European allies; eroding parliamentary sovereignty; scrapping British people’s rights to live/work/study/retire in any of 31 other European countries; and reducing the British state to grovelling and begging on the world stage for trade deals.
But in a way the hard-right Brexit fanatics are right to continue calling this mess “the will of the people” because millions upon millions of people voted Leave despite the warnings that the Brexiteers had nothing even remotely resembling a coherent Brexit plan, and that a “let’s make it up as we go along” Brexit administered by the Tory party would surely end up being an extremely damaging shambles, especially for people like the young, the working poor and the vulnerable.
Brexit voters had absolutely no excuse for not knowing that the Tories have spent the previous six years relentlessly squeezing the poor and ordinary in order to lavish huge tax cuts on corporations and the mega rich.
They must have known that the Tories had overseen the worst slump in the real value of UK workers’ wages since records began; slashed in-work benefits for the working poor; massively increased child poverty; lumbered students with vast unpayable debts; attacked workers’ rights; savagely mistreated sick and disabled people; devastated public services; and allowed an absolute explosion of exploitative employment practices.
They can’t have failed to notice that while the Tories were loading the burden of austerity dogma onto ordinary people, they were simultaneously slashing corporation tax to the lowest level of any advanced economy, lavishing vast bonuses on bankers at loss-making publicly owned banks, selling off swathes of public infrastructure on the cheap to their mega-rich mates, stuffing the unelected House of Lords full of their cronies, and continually cutting taxes for the very richest people in Britain.
There’s no way that it’s possible to imagine that a political party with a proven track record like that would somehow reverse direction and suddenly decide to manage the Brexit process in the best interests of ordinary British people (rather than on behalf of the tiny mega-rich clique who bankroll their party).
So in a way this absolute farce is “the will of the people”, because people were clearly and repeatedly warned that a Tory administered Brexit would surely descend into chaos and Tory fantasies of turning Britain into a hard-right dystopia, but they voted for it anyway.