• A No-Deal Brexit

    What an extraordinarily depressing experience it is to be compelled to watch, at 12,000 miles distance, the contortions and machinations of the British political class as they set about their determined attempt to overturn the decision taken by the British people that they wish to leave the European Union.

    The pages of publications like the Guardian are replete with articles by “constitutional experts”, exploring the various arcane ways in which so-called “democrats” could manipulate constitutional and parliamentary rules and practice so as to frustrate the will of the people by preventing a “no deal” Brexit— and all this supposedly in the name of democracy!

    Let us be quite clear. The rearguard campaign to prevent a “no-deal” Brexit is merely a smokescreen for the real objective, which is to frustrate any Brexit at all and, in effect, overturn the referendum outcome. Despite protestations that they are committed to giving effect to the referendum, the Remainers’ actions tell a different story.

    They calculate that, if the EU can be persuaded not to budge on negotiations for a deal, there will be sufficient opposition to a “no-deal” Brexit to mean that parliament will find a way to stop it.

    The contempt they show for democracy is exceeded only by their arrogance – their conviction that they alone know best – and by their readiness to demonstrate that their true allegiance is not to British democracy and self-government but to the “ideal” of European union – and, in the interests of that ideal, that they are prepared to collaborate with the EU to ensure that no acceptable deal for Brexit is available.

    Let us again be clear. A “no-deal” Brexit arises as a possibility at this stage only because the EU, in pursuance of their unspoken arrangement with Remainers, refuses to talk to, let alone negotiate with, a British government committed to withdrawal – a dramatic illustration of the extent to which, when we cannot even secure a position as a valid interlocutor on the issue of our own decision to withdraw, EU membership continues to mean a status of vassalage for the UK.

    The EU are encouraged in this unreasonable intransigence by the continued efforts from Remainers to convince them that the battle to overturn the referendum result is not over and could yet be won if a deal is placed beyond reach. Defeated in the referendum and professing to abide by its outcome, they nevertheless demonstrate continually – and particularly to the EU – their determination at whatever cost to make it as difficult as possible.

    What are the British people to make of this demonstration of contempt for them by their supposed leaders? For many, the sense that they are not being listened to – which, many believe, lay behind the referendum result – will simply have been confirmed.

    Their confidence in democratic institutions and in their leaders will be further undermined. Their sense of being mere pawns, manipulated under a cloak of democracy in the interests of the political class, will have been validated.

    What else are they to think, when so much effort is devoted by politicians to frustrating their wishes, and when what should be a reasonably straightforward proposition, that our EU membership should end, seems to be beyond our institutions to deliver and is not something that the EU is even prepared to discuss with those primarily involved?

    Whatever we may think of a Boris Johnson government, there must be some sympathy with its position that terminating our EU membership, in its essence, must surely be something that is within the remit and power of the UK government – deal or no deal.

    Whether or not there is a “deal” is as much the responsibility of the EU as it is of the UK. In the absence of any EU willingness to negotiate a deal, it cannot be the case that the UK is locked in – prisoners who cannot escape. A “no-deal” Brexit, when and if it happens, will have been engineered, not by Leavers, but by the absence of any alternative, brought about as a consequence of the Remainers’ collaboration with the EU to prevent an acceptable deal being agreed.

    Bryan Gould
    9 August 2019




  1. Phil says: August 13, 2019 at 1:38 amReply

    It would be great to see your views on this topic referenced by the New Zealand media. I am based in Dunedin and the Otago Daily Times runs frequent anti Brexit editorials and articles. They look at it through the prism that the UK in a massive act of self harm is withdrawing from a mere rules based organisation. In Europe, politicians are not shy about discusing the development of a European Federal Government. Many of the building blocks are already in place with no input from the UK electorate at critical stages in the development. There are meant to be 4 to 5 million (I think) British citizens living in the rest of the world and just 700,000 living in the EU so it is clear that the focus of the UK is beyond the EU.

  2. greywarbler says: September 4, 2019 at 11:17 pmReply

    Let us be quite clear. Treating ‘the will of the people’ as sacrosanct does not apply to a decision balanced on a pinhead, with the slight majority being heavily influenced by lies, damn lies and some dodgy statistics that centred on the emotional matter of large funds that would go to the chronically ill National Health Service. What a piece of political skulduggery – to run down essential services to the people, and the whole welfare provision, then to hold out false promises to get people to vote against their own interests. And the lies were promulgated by Farage who has repeatedly been reported in the media as consorting with USA people on-the-make in the private health bonanza business, along with Big Pharma.

    Holding up the referendum decision (which was not even binding) as the Holy Grail containing the combined wit and wisdom of the British voters, is risible. And very saddening to see. How far have our political principles fallen, after generations of education of the people, that we cannot discern falsity and trickery behind political actions and statements, which amount to legerdemain and manoeuvering at the highest levels of our democracy amongst the trusted powerful.

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