But for that one word, “almost”, David Martin talks a lot of sense and says things that need to be said. In particular, the point about there being no going back on Brexit. This has always been true and one of the things that even those advocating revoking the Article 50 implementation generally failed to acknowledge. The moment the Brexit juggernaut started rolling the place the UK had been disappeared. There could be no going back because there was nowhere to go back to.
Logic would dictate that long and probing consideration should be given to a course of action which not only had profound and wide-ranging implications but which was also irrevocable. Both in terms of planning for Brexit and in terms of voting in the referendum. But that was not the case. As we now know, there had been absolutely no planning for Brexit. The politicians who campaigned for a Leave vote appeared to be as deluded about the true nature of the EU and of the UK’s favourable terms of membership as the consumers of British media propaganda. And, even if factual information had not been swamped by that propaganda so that voters could not readily access it, they were persuasively discouraged from any reflective thought by the simplistic jingoism of the Leave campaign.
Brexit, as far as most Leave voters were led to believe, was both a trivially uncomplicated and a richly rewarding matter. All gain and no effort. People have been falling for that brand of snake oil since the capacity of complex communication made possible the big lie.
One of the most extraordinary things about the whole Brexit farce is the fact that had they actually stopped to think about it or had been obliged to reflect by being asked sensible questions, what many Leave voters actually wanted was the very thing that the UK already had. The UK was, in many ways, the most pandered and appeased member of the EU. (see image above) It enjoyed more exceptions and opt-outs than any other member state. Plus, arguably the best financial deal.
The trouble is that nobody was aware of this. Just as the relentless 50-year campaign of disinformation meant few who voted in the EU referendum knew anything about how the EU actually works, so there was general ignorance about the privileged arrangements that the UK enjoyed. Just as people were encouraged to think of the EU as something monstrous and alien, so they were led to believe that the UK was the put-upon victim in the relationship.
Lies heaped on disinformation heaped on calumny. The UK sold the cow and in return got inedible beans and no magic. No wonder David Martin seems so dejected about it all.
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