Let’s be clear. If I’d had a vote, I would have voted remain. I think Brexit is a driven by a bunch of nasty people with a very nasty agenda. But…
A second referendum is not democratic. As a friend observed, had Scotland voted for independence with, say, a 52% vote in favour, and that result had been put back to the people a second time, I, as a then supporter of independence, would have been livid. Referenda only ever happen on contentious issues. If there’s a clear electoral mandate for something, there’s no need for a referendum. So it was with Scottish independence and so it was for Brexit. The people – god I hate the way triumphant Brexit assholes spout the phrase – have spoken.
So, I accept the democratic outcome. I think it’s wrong-minded, muddle-headed and self-harming, but I accept it. Now to the deal. If, in 2016, the Conservative party had been capable of electing a statesman as leader, and if Labour had been capable of articulating a vision, that statesman would have formed a cross-party body to work out in advance what shape a deal would take, what the red lines in the sand were and so on. That statesman would have taken those negotiating parameters to Brussels with a reasonable assurance that the resulting deal would be accepted by parliament.
This is a laughable fantasy. Instead of reaching out, May first attempted to lock parliament out of the process altogether, tried to be a smart ass in the polls and got thrashed, went it alone to produce a deal that, without having ever consulted the representatives who would vote on it, never stood a chance. Labour in opposition had not a single constructive thing to say, but stood on the sidelines taking cheap shots.
Now we have Bojo, voted in by 66% of the Tory party, which amounts to just under 150,000 people. That 150,000 is 97% male and 44% are over 65 years old. That’s the gallery Bojo will play to, and he is not being undemocratic to his support base by ignoring the other 70-odd million people who weren’t asked. It’s become abundantly clear since his “election” that Bojo never had the slightest intention of renegotiating May’s dead deal; but the want of alternatives is not why I now support a no-deal.
The reason is this. The Brexit deal that could have been no longer exists. The EU has deal fatigue, Labour is still playing politics and the Conservatives are dead people walking. There is nothing to be gained from a further extension as, even if Bojo were capable of renegotiating the deal, he’s too much of a dickhead to get it through parliament, and parliament is broken – probably irreparably.
Brexit is a busted flush. It’s time for a new game. Take your losses; get on with it.