Adur, West & East Worthing Party including East Arun

Thoughts about Brexit

Interesting Thoughts about Brexit

“This is an historic moment from which there can be no turning back.” If the second part of the PM’s sentence had been true, there would have been no need to state it. Therefore it isn’t. Revocation of Article 50 by a British Government would be the ultimate vote of confidence in the EU. Europe would never pass on that opportunity. Therefore the campaign continues.

In the first phase of the Brexit-campaign until now, Leave’s weapons (unsubstantiated dreams, outright lies, fraudulent slogans, the opinion press), were more effective than Remain’s (appreciation of a status quo, plausible but uncertain projections, the information press).

The EU will conduct the negotiations publicly, and thereby also force the UK Government into the open. All dreams, lies and slogans will be exposed; Remain will rearm with powerful, hitherto unavailable or ineffective weapons: facts, realism and truth.

It is already clear that no money will come back, the precious union will become weaker, no trade relationship of equal benefit will be available, capital and jobs will leave for the continent, immigration will stay high, and appetite in the rest of the world for “Made in Britain”, never limited by EU membership, will not suddenly explode. The UK will become poorer, even more unequal, less secure, and less significant. These inevitable realizations must be transformed into an indisputable swing in British public opinion. Such a swing will change things, independent from the method of establishing it.

I believe the Liberal Democrats are uniquely positioned to lead this campaign. Not because you are the last remoaners who fail to respect the will of the British people (which will evolve), but because in this world of Trumps, Putins, Erdogans, Xi Jinpings, and also Modis, Duertes, Zumas, there is hardly a liberal place left on this planet, except Europe. The PM’s intention to build a more liberal Britain outside the EU and dependent on the above cast of characters is cynical at best, deceitful at worst, and doomed to fail.

The challenge will be to change public opinion, which, given its surprising stubbornness so far, will not be easy. I am lacking your political campaigning-skills, but would recommend to dwell on specifics: a decision to make a new car-model abroad, bankers leaving London, hospitals closing, food packages shrinking, retail prices rising, etc. Principled arguments have not worked so far.

In parallel, you must prepare for and bring about the downfall of this Government, because if Britain remains, May cannot. LibDems, moderate Tories, and responsible Labour MPs must lobby their European networks for an inconclusive suspension of the exit-negotiations if and when Parliament finally revolts. The following general election will then be the decisive battle. More than 20% of the votes and 10% of the seats is highly unusual for liberal parties in Europe, but the British Liberal Democrats could do it again 2019/20 if no one else stands up for the true interests of the British people.

* Arnold Kiel is a self-employed Management Consultant, father of two sons in British education, and very concerned about their future in this Europe