REVERSE THIS MADNESS
Let’s ask the burning question for the North of England. People outside most of the large cities voted Leave in justified rage at being ignored. Would they vote Leave again after a week when billions of pounds have been written off our companies and banks? When investment decisions that could bring vital work to the very areas that voted Leave are being put off? When we have seen division grow between young and old, North and South, Scotland and England and Nigel Farage disgrace Britain with another loutish performance in the European Parliament? Even more worryingly some people feel the Brexit vote has given them a licence to openly abuse people from ethnic communities. We have seen the Vice Chancellor of Manchester University having to issue a statement trying to calm fears amongst her international staff about their jobs and European research funding.
In that list I have not even mentioned the political turmoil which is both adding to the crisis but may just give us an opportunity to stop this Brexit insanity in its tracks.
The Labour Party could be on the brink of extinction. Since the decline of traditional industries and mass union membership it has seen a struggle between its socialist and social democratic wings. When the struggle for the leadership is resolved, it is possible that Jeremy Corbyn will be re-elected as leader by the socialist grass roots completing the split between the parliamentary party and activists.
At the same time the Conservatives will have a new leader and Prime Minister who is likely to want a General Election mandate. It was significant that the party’s officials accelerated the timetable so that an October General Election is now possible before the winter sets in.
There is a growing chance that the new Prime Minister will be Theresa May. Although on the Remain side, if she lets it be known that she would appoint Andrea Ledsom from Leave to a new post of Cabinet Minister for Brexit, it may be enough to overcome Boris Johnson.
If a General Election is on the way, there is only one option for social democrats in the Labour Party and that is to link up with Liberal Democrats, Greens and any pro EU Tories who want to join in a grand alliance to ask for a second referendum. One candidate would stand against the Tories in each seat. A normal election would be possible in Scotland due to the strong pro European stance of the people and parties there. The Lib Dems are reported to be gaining members at the rate of one a minute following leader Tim Farron’s pledge to campaign to rejoin the EU. We don’t need to rejoin though, just stop the years of complex, acrimonious unravelling straight away now that people can see they were fooled. We have not triggered Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty which would probably put us beyond the point of no return.
There is an obvious risk that such a stance could see UKIP winning many seats accusing a “second referendum” alliance of ignoring the democratic wish of the people. However the situation is so serious that such a charge has to be taken on board and answered in the following way.
The brazen Brexiteers have already been found out on their promises for NHS funding, their ability to cut immigration and the claim that Turkey would be joining the EU soon. Remain forecasts of a massive economic impact on the markets has been proved right. Assertions that Brexit had no idea what shape our relations with the EU would look like have also been proved right and most fundamental of all the Remain campaign was right that our standing in the world would be diminished as we turned inwards to fight ourselves.
Europe must reform and democratise, the issue of immigration must be addressed, the arrogant Jean-Claude Juncker (President of the Commission) must be replaced. But we must stay in the EU.
Cross party coalitions came together in the 1918 and 1931 elections. Grave times call for exceptional measures. All pro EU politicians must unite now or we are on the road to a painful exit from Europe and Conservative governments stretching long into the future.