The “take back control” argument is a pathetic and weak one. Considering the country’s remarkable history of punching above its weight and wielding huge influence around the world, how is it so that the same country is not able to exert its veto and influence within the EU to combat rising immigration and over-spending, which were the main tenets of the Brexit campaign? Britain’s role within the EU to engage, influence and change policy in Brussels on issues like immigration that affected MANY countries (not just Britain) has brought admiration within EU circles, but that influence within Europe has now been squandered. Okay, so the country is going to take back control, like a baby snatches back his toy from his older brother. And then what?
The “big vision” that has been promised to “heal the divide’ has been sorely lacking, through poor political leadership. The majority of 18–35 year olds in this country have been brought up on the values of integration, openness, cultural diversity & engagement, and who voted to remain, have now had their futures pulled from underneath them. I’ve heard some good arguments for the country to take back control, but I’ve never seen the vision for a new global Britain and its role in an integrated global economy. There isn’t one.
“Global Britain” has to be one of the biggest oxymorons in political circles, conjuring up eerie images of the days of colonialism and arrogance. Where’s the revival in foreign language teaching (which is already pathetic in this country) to prepare our children to herald this global Britain? Where are the exchange programs? Where are the skills and development initiatives to prepare for Britain’s role in this brave new world? And yet a certain demographic still want to travel to Spain, buy their houses and order their bacon and eggs as if freedom of movement is just a one-way street.
Europe was never built upon being a one way street but that’s the Brexit mentality. Certain swathes of the population still hold firm to the belief that “foreigners are stealing our jobs”, but they forget that they have the same freedom in any country in Europe. Oh, I forget – most of us British have a language barrier.
For years, I believed that “the best of British” was upheld in values such as transparency and democratic values. The referendum showed the worst in us, on both sides of the argument. Lies were peddled without any fact-checking by a referendum commission, the impact on the Scottish independence movement or the border issue in Ireland was not properly thought through, and a binary emotional vote was thrust on the population that will have serious consequences for generations to come.
Whether we voted Leave or Remain, it’s irrelevant. Brexit is already a disaster. We’ve arrogantly pulled the rug from beneath the feet of the nation’s youth without offering a compelling visionary alternative. We’ve eroded the country’s standing and power projection in the world. We’ve seriously risked a break up of the country with Scottish independence more likely than ever before. Some in Westminster are wanting to arrogantly rip up the Good Friday peace agreement, and we’ve shown the nation and the world how an entire political class have acted in stark contrast to the image it used to project to the world. Well done Britain!
The globalisation genie is out of the bottle, and the world is different today, more connected than ever before. People will realise that going back to the glory days of “Great” Britain is no longer possible and there’s no sign of any leader to heal the nation and take us forward in an exciting new direction.
Time for a new political party perhaps?