Those now arguing for so-called ‘Hard Brexit’ without a further referendum are to be feared.
For me, they represent nothing less a clear and present danger to British democracy, and must be resisted with all our might.
New Westminster-based campaign group Leave Means Leave – founded by property millionaire Richard Tice – is already pressuring the government to trigger Article 50 and adopt a take no prisoners attitude in negotiations with the EU over trade and free movement of people.
This rich man’s plaything has already attracted the support of senior Tory and Labour Brexiteers, and it will come as no surprise to hear the usual gaggle of rags (Express, Mail) are giving them a sympathetic hearing.
Their argument can be summarised thus: either afford access to the single market with none of the attendant costs and responsibilities, or we walk.
No deal, a raft of tariffs dumped on our exports and, if you fancy a week with the family in Benidorm circa 2018, you’ll probably need to find £60 a head for visas.
Meanwhile, even the most amenable of EU voices endlessly make plain that the single market and the free movement are two sides of the one coin. Be alarmed, and angry.
Virtually the whole Leave campaign, from a trade point of view, rested on the oft-repeated assertion that “we sell X amount to them, they sell Y amount to us, so they need us more than we need them”, and thus a good deal is assured.
The German car makers will stand for nothing else! Remember the German car-makers? Wheeled out perpetually as Exhibit A in the case for a post-Brexit deal satisfactory to the many UK businesses, large and small, who ply their trade in the EU? Well, forget them.
Goodness knows what damage this would wreak – but you’d imagine small-medium sized businesses would be least able to absorb what could be high and enduring additional costs – but should negotiations fail, this ‘Hard Brexit’ MUST go before the public for approval.
And this time round there’d be no need to rely on fast, loose numbers on the side of a bus. Many of the tariffs (World Trade Organisation) are already known, so give number crunchers a week and you’ll be casting your X on the basis of cold hard figures.
One thing Brexit zealots fear above all else.