I voted to remain in the European Union, I wish to make that incredibly clear. The EU may not function perfectly – it often adds an unnecessary level of bureaucracy, it is not perfectly democratic and the idea of currency union was obviously going to benefit larger states in the long run.
All of this being said, it does seem to be the case that those who wished us leave (at least those who were running the campaign) forgot that we all elected our own MEPs. This is especially convenient for everybody’s favourite opportunistic Neo-Nationalist Nigel Farage when you consider that he has been drawing his wage from the European Parliament since 1999, the year that his position was established. This is a man who detests the European Union so much that he once, allegedly, voted for the Green Party due to their allying Eurosceptic ideas. The incredible irony of a climate change denier voting for the Greens is, I suspect, not lost on many.
A roundup of recent post-Brexit news does not generally look positive for the UK in the short term or, for that matter, in the long term.
It is promising, however, that groups up and down the country are trying to deal with the job of deciding which pieces of legislature ought to be kept and which ought to be binned. It is promising to see that people can recognise that not every piece of European “red tape” has to be removed from these shores in order to reshape our country. It can only be hoped that both National and Local Government follow up on these suggestions.
What is quite concerning is the fact that Theresa May is unable to move on with negotiations without triggering Article 50 and yet still wishes to try and use the Royal Prerogative to push through her so-called plan without even discussing it with Parliament. It also confuses me somewhat how those who wished to “take back control” cannot accept that this is a perfectly reasonable request. If you wished to see the powers-that-be push through a deal that no one is quite sure that they want, you could have just let the EU negotiate TTIP.
Some more promising news can be seen in LIDL’s insistence on investing in the UK whilst all of this is going on. “Now Lidl invests in post-Brexit Britain with a £70million headquarters and 5,000 new jobs” proclaims the Mail. The Sun goes with “BREXIT BOOST: Lidl shows commitment to UK post-Brexit by announcing the creation of 5,000 jobs”. It even makes the Evening Express of Aberdeen. So do LIDL plan on investing in the Aberdeen area? No. Quite literally all of the investment is planned for London. The sub-headings let you know though. The Daily Mail’s also includes this gem – “Announcement comes after Lloyds of London moved fewer jobs than expected to Europe”.
Apparently that’s a positive. They’re still moving the jobs, but it’s okay because less of them are moving than expected. The Irish Independent suggests that Dublin could become the new EU base of operations. It also points out that if the UK Government can reach an agreement with the European Union over the financial sector’s access to the single market, then Lloyd’s may not need to move after all. That doesn’t seem to be the direction that Theresa May and her minions are heading in.
The Liberal Democrat stance on all of this is that there should be a second referendum on the Government’s Brexit deal. Some people would have you believe that this is the same as having the first referendum again. It is not. I would urge anyone wishing to keep the process of British democracy as transparent as possible to vote for the Liberal Democrats wherever possible.
This year has seen phenomenal by-election results for the party and I hope that these will continue into the new year.