Opinion – Brexit: Another fine mess

Laurel and Hardy may not have been anticipating Brexit when they coined the phrase “another fine mess you’ve gotten us into” but it neatly sums up the last few weeks.

The Brexit economic impact assessments epitomise the chaos. First there was “excruciating detail” – then they didn’t exist. Then they were shared with MPs … now they don’t exist again.

For a man who readily comments on Parliament “taking back control” David Davis has shown nothing but contempt for democracy.

One of the reasons Greens campaigned to stay in the European Union was our concern that Brexit would hit those hardest with the most to lose.

In Brighton and Hove, key projects on transport and preventing drug addiction were EU funded.

Brexit will not just cut those vital income streams at a time of corrosive cuts but leave our city worse off for generations.

This is the biggest decision in a lifetime and so much of it was built on lies.

While a key “Leave” argument focused on how the UK public could “take back control”, on core issues like human rights or our trading relationship with the world post-Brexit, the public are being frozen out of the debate.

The DUP, a party representing only 0.9 per cent of UK voters, is calling the shots. The party that has refused to mirror UK legislation on abortion or equal marriage now hypocritically wants a Brexit deal identical to Britain’s – even at the expense of a hardened Irish border.

This is exactly the time that opposition parties could forge a different approach – but that needs Labour to get its act together instead of struggling to figure out their position.

There is a way out of the mess. Defiance is the only reasonable response in the face of such political incompetence.

A recent Survation poll showed 50 per cent support for a second vote on Brexit.

At next Thursday’s full Council meeting, Green councillors will request that government gives our city more clarity on the impact of Brexit.

Now the shambolic “deal” is coming to light, people deserve a genuine say over the future of the country through a ratification referendum.

Councillor Phélim Mac Cafferty is the convenor of the Green group on Brighton and Hove City Council.

  1. Chris French Reply

    As one of the major net contributors to the EU ever since we joined the EU, those “key projects on transport and preventing drug addiction were EU funded”, were in fact funded by a tiny fraction of our net massive contributions to the EU, being refunded to us and for which we are supposed to be eternally grateful.

  2. Rostrum Reply

    What a load of tosh… Phelim seems to think the only way to get things done it to go cap-in-hand to what is in essence ‘a foreign government’ to ask for money, that we gave them, to fund projects which we proposed. The idea that the EU is the only way to run this country is laughable and indeed insulting.

    I for one want political control to end at the Houses of Parliament in London – not in Brussels or Strassburg. I want our politicians to be in control of our country and tax money and be the arbiters of how its spent.

    I want them wholly accountable for how this country is governed, who we trade with, our foreign and defence polices and be held to account by our electoral processes. This is NOT possible when we are in effect a vassal state of the United States of Europe.

    He calls for another referendum because some unnamed and likely biased survey.
    Well if we did the same after every election we’d never have a government but that may be his intent.

    A referendum was held to give ALL POLITICAL PARTIES instruction of how the majority of people wanted them to proceed. They must now act in those instructions and stop looking over their shoulders.

    He’ll argue that the referendum was not ‘fair’ (whatever that means) forgetting that our system is simple.

    Everyone eligible to vote is invited to register.
    They are then appointed a voting place and date and invited to vote.
    Those who vote have them counted and the result in determined.
    Those who do not vote, even though they were invited to, or voted contrary to the result are expected to abide by the result.

    So please Phelim respect the result, work within them and try your hardest to make this a success instead of harping on.

  3. Mike Reply

    Brexit is just stupid and PM & Brexit govenment have already ruined UK jobs & economy. JUST STOPPED BREXIT

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