The last of the Brexiteers Buggers Off!

Rally

We”ll fight on the UK’s behalf even if the Brexiteers have buggered off!

So that’s it then. First Farage quits; then Johnson; then Gove gets eliminated; then Leadsom caves in; then Nuttall says he won’t stand. Cameron, whose weakness led to the referendum in the first place, was the first to disappear. So nationally and locally, the Brexiteers show that they had no understanding of the enormity of what they had proposed. They had no plan for what to do after BREXIT and they had no understanding of the forces that would be unleashed by a BREXIT vote.

It wasn’t as if they weren’t told. BUT every time that someone tried to give an educated commentary of what might happen the Leave group accused them of scare stories. Well the sad truth is that the stories were not scary enough! Just look at what has happened since BREXIT was voted on:

  • The £ has plummeted and is now 10%+ less against other currencies. In fact it is the worst performing currency in the World this year!
  • Pensions have gone belly up with already appalling annuity rates nose diving.
  • Major decisions to invest in the UK economy have been put on hold or cancelled.
  • Jobs have already been lost as overseas orders for services and goods has plummeted.
  • The FTSE 100 has improved because of the change in the value of the £ but the FTSE 250 which is more reflective of the UK economy has tanked and is currently below its June 22nd level by about 11/12%.

Let’s not forget that many of these positions had already weakened since the referendum was announced. Our currency etc. has been in a major slide since it was first announced.

So who is now going to pick up the pieces? The Remainers are because they are the one ones that both understand the enormity of what is happening and have the ability to deal with those problems.

Nationally it will be Theresa May and the big question for her is, “Will she trigger Article 50 at all?” The fact is that the referendum was not mandatory but advisory. I don’t know many exiters because this area was 70% in favour of staying in. But already a few people have spoken to me and have said one of two things:

  1. They didn’t think that that Leave would win and basically wanted to put two fingers up at the establishment; or
  2. They didn’t think that what has happened would happen. They thought there would be no consequences to a Leave vote because that is what the Leavers told them.

 

There are many people like them and I have no doubt that were another referendum to be held now Remain would win. May’s position must be to negotiate with the EU from a position of weakness. She has two choices. Either to find a way of not implementing the Referendum result or to minimise the difference between the current position and the position that could be. The intractable position is that there will be no free trade agreement with the EU unless we agree to free movement of labour and agree to pay substantial costs to the EU. You cannot have it both ways. Whichever way we have been severely weakened as a Country and have been shown to be a small-minded and inward looking offshore island.

 

That is not where I want to be and that is not where the Lib Dems want us to be. We believe that the UK could and should be a world leader. BY committing ourselves to appropriate strategic alliances like the EU; Commonwealth and NATO we can ensure that our values are the ones that are carried through. Dancing on the side-lines, as we have done for decades, leads us nowhere.

 

Locally the national situation is in part replicated. As I have documented elsewhere the Remainers will be the ones that will have to sort things out. Quite simply there are no exiters in elected positions here. UKIP have no elected representatives in the Liverpool City Region and got 2% of the vote in May. I don’t really meet Tories but the ones I have met are pro-Europe. The only so-called Party in favour is the little right-wing clique that the law allows to call itself the Liberal Party. Liberal they are not!

In the City Region up to £1billion is at stake and we need all the experience that we can muster to work out what to do next. We need to press our case jointly locally; regionally; nationally and internationally to deal with these problems. That is why the 6 Lib Dem Group Leaders from across the LCR have agreed to work with Labour on these pressing issues.

 

It would be easy for Lib Dems to gloat about the problems facing our opponents. Come to think of it I did in my last BLOG. But what is happening now is dangerous for our democracy and dangerous for our Country. The circumstances we face are the most dangerous for our Country since the end of World War II. Then there Country pulled together and although there was still appropriate political disagreement there was still a consensus on the way forward. That consensus included working with others inside Europe and NATO to build a new World together. That is the way to deal with this crisis as well.

 

The only Party that is up to this is the Liberal Democrat Party. I repeat my invitation to come and join us at www.libdems.org.uk/join.

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About richardkemp

Leader of the Liberal Democrats in Liverpool. . Deputy Chair and Lib Dem Spokesperson on the LGA Community Wellbeing Board. Married to the lovely Cllr Erica Kemp CBE with three children and four grandchildren.
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