25 June 2019

The new Project Fear

During the EU referendum, the voices of experts and the Remain side were dismissed by the Leavers as Project Fear.

We're now being subjected to a barrage of threats from the Leave side, that if we fail to leave the EU by the arbitrary date of 31st October 2019, it will be the end of British democracy as we know it.  There's a strong whiff of bullsh*t about this claim.  It seems like the new Project Fear.

Parliamentarians who have painted themselves into a corner over leaving quickly may see it as a threat.  Prime Ministers and cabinet members who have created and supported red lines may see it as a threat.  It may ultimately be costly in an election.  But I don't really think that the break-up of the United Kingdom or the smashing of the Good Friday Agreement will be any less costly.

So it's crucial for those that are invested in a Brexit at any cost.  For the rest of us, not so sure. 

If politicians on both sides want to preserve the Union - the United Kingdom of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland - then the time has come to revoke Article 50 and think properly about the country's needs.

I want to keep this country in a strong position in its trading and manufacturing arrangements including Just-In-Time which is so productive for our motor industry and for our customers in the remainder of the EU.

I want this country to be able to recruit willing workers who will pay their taxes from all parts of the world. Why build new barriers against well-trained doctors, nurses, carers and technicians from the EU?

Politicians can still keep Leave as their policy - that's something to discuss at length - but let's take away the false urgency, the Gadarene swine rush for the cliff edge, the fear of thinking through the issues properly.  Red lines were drawn without any idea of the impact, and the deadline was set before the requirements were known.  Anyone in business management with half an ounce of sense knows that a change programme or project started under those conditions will miss.

I want to keep the Union and the Good Friday Agreement intact.  And so, I think, do the majority in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.  Let's not forget them while the way forward is being mapped out.  But let's take some time to think about what the country needs.  

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