The independent London newspaper

People’s lives at stake over Brexit

24 August, 2018

• STEPHEN Southam takes me to task for quoting the campaign director of Vote Leave, Dominic Cummings, on the “ignorance” of MPs, (MPs who backed referendum opened way to Leave vote, August 17).

Stephen goes on to say that I have ignored his point that MPs voted for the referendum. He suggests that since they voted for a referendum they must have been aware that a Leave vote was possible and therefore it could not have dire repercussions.

David Cameron thought the referendum would shoot the Ukip fox and silence the Brexit wing of the Tory Party. It was nothing to do with the good of the country. MPs forgot the Law of Unintended Consequences and assumed that Remain would win.

If the august body that is our Parliament is so “all knowing” and “all wise”, how come they committed us to membership of the apparently disastrous EU in the first place? Older readers may remember that Ken Clarke, as Chancellor, “joked” that he hadn’t read the Maastricht Treaty.

Mr Cummings said: “Few MPs know the difference between the EEA and EFTA or the intricacies of the WTO rules” and it has become abundantly clear that they’ve learnt very little since the referendum.

Given Theresa May’s Chequers White Paper, it is also obvious that even after 45 odd years they have no idea how the EU works. Unless, of course, it was deliberately designed to be rejected.

It’s one thing to have been ignorant of the EU and world trade in granting the referendum, it’s quite another to remain so when trying to deliver on the result. Perhaps Mrs May has played a blinder but it looks like we’re heading down a blind hole.

It is entirely reasonable that we expect our MPs to give us coherent details about where we are going and how we expect to get there. That they cannot suggests that they have indeed exposed us to the possibility of “dire consequences”.

“It’ll be all right on the night” isn’t a blueprint for economic survival; even if you do cross your fingers, close your eyes and say the magic word. Brexit isn’t a Magical Mystery Tour. People’s lives are at stake.

Richmond Grove, N1


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