Back in June 2016, Lincolnshire was “the Leave Capital of the UK”, recording the highest and second-highest proportional Leave votes across the UK in our neighbouring constituencies of Boston & Skegness and South Holland & The Deepings. So, imagine what sort of feedback members of the European Movement, manning a ‘street stall’ in Stamford on Saturday, July 21, and seeking to capture feedback from passers-by on the topic of “What do you think about Brexit 2 years on?”, received in response to the following questions:
(1) Brexit is going well?
(2) Brexit will be good for jobs?
(3) Brexit will be good for the NHS?
(4) We need a PEOPLE’S VOTE on the final deal?
Surely, in Lincolnshire, you’d expect passers-by to say “Yes” to the first three of these four questions and “No” to the fourth.
In practice, passers-by were given stickers to place on a large piece of paper to indicate their opinions under the following three headings: “Yes”, “Don’t Know” and “No”.
So, how did they actually respond?
(1) Brexit is going well: Yes, 2.9%; Don’t Know 8.6%; No, 88.6%;
(2) Brexit will be good for jobs: Yes, 15.4%; Don’t Know 9.2%; No, 75.4%;
(3) Brexit will be good for the NHS: Yes, 10.4%; Don’t Know 14.9%; No, 74.6%.
(4) We need a PEOPLE’S VOTE on the final deal: Yes, 75.6%; Don’t Know 2.6%; No, 21.8%.
These results suggest people in Lincolnshire are beginning now to recognise that, when leading Brexiteers, like John Hayes MP, told them in 2016 that voting Leave would lead them to “the sunlit uplands of prosperity”, “the exact same benefits”, “the easiest trade deal in human history”, “they need us more than we need them”, “we can have our cake and eat it”, “£350 million a week” extra for the NHS, etc, these claims were merely unfounded assertions.
However, we need to pay attention now, as the futures of ourselves, our children, our friends, our workplaces and our country as a whole are all now all at stake. And, sadly, our party-politically-obsessed politicians in Westminster (albeit with a few, praiseworthy exceptions) are demonstrably not helping.
Personally, I’m fed up with hearing Brexiteers locally telling me, “Everyone knew what they were voting for in 2016” (i.e. leaving the Customs Union and the Single Market, relying on WTO rules, and being worse off for some indeterminate period in future, currently estimated by Jacob Rees-Mogg, interviewed recently on Channel 4, as up to “50 years”). Let’s remember, though, in contrast, that back in 2016, Vote Leave was telling us we’d all be better off, in every respect, if we voted to leave the EU.
So, on the day that the Daily Telegraph (owned by the Barclay Brothers, who happen to own the Ritz and live in their tax haven of Brecqhou in the Channel Islands – no, I couldn’t make this up) confirmed that our Government will be building “stockpiles of food, medicine and blood” and is also promising to deliver “adequate food supplies”, I have a new challenge for Brexiteers locally. Specifically, I’d like to hear from the first Brexiteer locally willing to state, in public, that “When I voted Leave in 2016, I knew that we’d need to stockpile food, medicine and blood in advance of Brexit.”
Hopefully, this supremely confident local Brexiteer will also be brave enough to state, in public, that, “When I voted Leave in 2016, I always knew that Jacob Rees-Mogg’s investment firm, Somerset Capital Management, would need to establish a second office in Dublin (within in the EU27) in order to sustain its profits after Brexit.”
Meanwhile, if readers come across anyone seeking to convince them that trading exclusively under WTO rules can conceivably be good for the UK, simply ask them, “How many sovereign nations currently trade exclusively under WTO rules?” . . . and, then, watch as them squirm.
Incidentally, the correct answer is: only Mauritania . . . but even Mauritania benefits from a special arrangement with the EU for some of its products, as it’s classified as a ‘developing country’ – an arrangement from which the UK cannot conceivably benefit after 29 Mar 19.
So, my question to readers is this: do you really want to watch your country being destroyed, before your own eyes, by people who don’t even begin to understand the implications of trading under WTO rules? I sincerely hope not.