Do we need a hard Brexit?

I am a firm “Remainer”, I think that the referendum was flawed, and theat Brexit is the worst thing we can do as a nation to our prosperity, security and place in the world.

Sometimes, in dark moments, I wonder whether we should “just leave” with all the fall out that entails (including in NI). Heck, let’s make Rees-Mogg PM and Farage his deputy. At least that way the mob will know clearly who to go after.

However, whichever way you look at it Brexit has riven the UK, the nation is rudderless and leaderless
as the cabinent argue amongst themselves which of the options that the EU has already rejected they will take to Brussels and the Labour party is no better - the only reason it’s divisions over Brexit are not so sharply felt is that they are not in power. If they were it would be no better.

No matter which way we go from here some group will be unhappy. If we have a soft Brexit the Leavers will cry foul, if it goes badly they will say it was the result of a poor implementation, if it goes well they will complain we are still shackled to Europe and that it is Brexit in name only. None of the political divisions that we now face will be solved.

Chris Grey, amongst others, makes a cogent argument for another referendum but while it might provide clarity the vote will be close and probably leave lingering disatisfaction.

So, I am starting to wonder whether hard Brexit is truely the only route forward - if it all works out Remainers won’t like it but there will be no option but to accept that their fears were unfounded. If it goes badly (as is my suspicion) it won’t be fun but it will make it clear beyond all doubt that it was an awfully bad idea - perhaps the EU will, in due course, let us back in.


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I sympathise with your point Paul, but in my opinion the cost of a hard Brexit would be so high that its well worth persevering.

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quite a good summary of a lose - lose situation. Brexit is a catastrophic mess… as you say a flawed referendum which only gave an advisory conclusion should never have taken place.
So let the headless chickens have the hardest Brexit possible. Then in 3 years we’'ll be begging the EU to let us back in

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I agree the cost would be horrendous but the genie is out of the bottle and can’t go back.

Even if we sought to abandon Brexit and stay in our relationship with the EU will change because of all the bad feeling and it will certainly not heal the divisions within the UK itself. It might even be very hard to have meaningful discourse about the future direction of the Eu and out relationship to it.

If we go for a soft Brexit it will limit damage in the short term but it won’t, as above, heal the divisions over Europe. The Leavers will probably feel worse about this than just staying put since they will feel that their vision has been betrayed. Remainers won’t be happy because it will leave us following the rules but not making them.

A further referendum will be ugly and likely won’t solve anything long term.

I’m starting to think the only way to purge this from British Politics is to go through the fire.

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That all sounds like logic Paul, no solution will be painless, 1/2 in would be worse than fully out!
It’s a total utter, mess!

Yeah, but it sounds so like a regular conversation with my 5 year old niece…

“Aisha, you don’t want to do that…”

“No, seriously. You’ll hurt yourself.”

“Aisha, I won’t warn you again…”

“… now who’s going to clean that up?!”


That would be very funny, if it wasn’t so true Guy!

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The trouble is that the conversation has been more like

May/Davies/BoJo: We want our cake and to eat it
MDJ: We want special treatment because we are British
MDJ: We want you to trust us even though we have rejected you

EU: No, you will do this, this,… and this.


I agree though, the EU must feel like it is negotiating with a 5 year old.

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I confess I had a moment of clarity driving home from work.

Of course a failed hard Brexit won’t lance the boil - because the likes of RM, BoJo, Davies, Cummings, Fox and Farage will never admit failure - they will tell the public it failed because the EU “punished” us (by treating us exactly like all other 3rd nations) and the public will lap it up.

We’re doomed Captain Mainwaring, Doomed I tell you.


Disturbing leak about a speech from our ‘noble’ F’ Sec’, trump look/sound alike on BBC News, wott a ‘bunch’ :unamused:

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We might not need a hard Brexit but Britain does. If any of the sof options are agreed the U.K. will be in a much worse position than they were before the referendum. They will be tied to thecEU and EU laws, they will have to pay into the EU yet will have no say in how it is run. That certainly isn’t what Johnny Englander voted for when he voted to take back control, regain sovereignty and get the hell out.

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Economically we will be worse off outside the EU however we arrange it - the impact will be less if we opt for a “soft” Brexit and potentially cataclysmic if we blow out with no deal.

Unfortunately I agree that, in the short term at least, we would have little influence on EU legislation as a member of the EEA - simply because we have now so poisoned our relationship with Europe. Norway manages to influence decisions it feels are important to it by use of tenacious, polite diplomacy of a sort which we are actually not bad at (we have influenced a lot of EU legislation) but it will take years to repair the political harm that Brexit has done (and continues to do).

The trouble with Brexit is that it is a loose-loose situation.

No-one will get what they wanted - not anyone who wished to remain a member, that’s for sure.

Not anyone who believed it when they were told that we could leave and join the EEA, not anyone who believed it when they were told there would be £350m a week for the NHS because there isn’t, not anyone who believed that there would be no downside to leaving because that was a fantasy, not anyone who believed that re-negotiating trade deals would be trivial because it won’t be (trade deals with the US take an average of three and a half years to negotiate, with China, 5 years), not anyone who believed that there will be a queue of nations waiting to do deals because there won’t, not anyone who believed we will gain sovereignty because we will have to bend over backwards to get any trade deals which are  on offer, not anyone who thought we could control our borders because we will have to offer more visas as a sweetener to get the trade deal; having to “make a choice” when there is actually no other option is gaining neither sovereignty or control.

The list is endless, but if no-one is going to get what they want1 whay, once again, are we doing it?

[1] Of course some individuals (you know the list) will  get what they want because what they want is disruption from which they can profit.

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2% was the majority, but the lies, and misleading information prevailed, because Cameron was too bloody confident, at least he had the grace to fall on his sword, and his bloody fat pension :unamused:

What has surprised me is that over the last two years UK based global companies haven’t upped sticks and moved (or have made plans to move) to the EU ready for life when Brexit hits. Now it could be that they’ll be a big rush in 2019/2020 or conversly it could be that predictions of a meltdown in the UK with mass unemployment are way off the mark.

Couple of new ones for you from the magnificent James O’Brien ! :slight_smile: :slight_smile: :slight_smile:

My daughter is a lawyer. Ever since the referendum her firm have been rushed off their feet as their workload has increased enormously. What is the new work? They are working for firms who are preparing for the future but don’t want to make a move until they are sure what that future holds so currently they are having to prepare for several possibilities. Plenty of plans to move have been made.

Would not expect you to name these firms, are they big and do they employ a lot of people or what line of business are they in.

They come in all shapes and sizes but many are in financial services and trade. Lots of Lawyers will be great fans of the referendum, the result will keep them in luxury for years. Yet another of the many hidden costs of the farce.