Imagine this scenario. You visit your GP because you are feeling under the weather, he or she checks you over and says there is a simple solution. It is take out one of your lungs and to do it without an anaesthetic. Don’t worry. It will be quick and easy. The GP has recently read a report saying that the other lung will grow to replace the one they remove and it will help to cleanse and re-energise your general sense of being under par.
Well, that is how I feel right now about the deals being discussed about Brexit.
We have established that leaving the EU will mean pain. It will mean seeing the demise of some industries in order for others to grow. That’s the basic argument. The choice between ‘No Deal’ or a ‘Soft Brexit’ all comes down to how quickly you want the pain to last. A rapid exit will take 15 years to re-adjust and we start to grow again. The slower, softer version might take 20 years or more and overall the ‘No Deal’ supporters are planning for a 50 year delay before we fully take advantage of leaving the EU. Yes, I said 50 years.
I don’t know about you, but 15 years of disruption, slower growth and who knows what for public services is not what I want.
This week the picture became both clearer and more muddled. Clearer about the reality of the cost of leaving in terms of our standards of living. Clearer about what the two main political parties are saying about Brexit. And clearer that the negotiations are more about politics than they are about making sure we make the right decision. But muddled as to what the government is actually trying to achieve. Not to mention just who is in charge.
It is why we need a ‘People’s Vote’.
When we voted in the referendum, the prognosis was that our removal from the EU would quick, painless and beneficial. The reality is that while leaving might happen 1 minute after midnight at the end of next March, but the consequences will be slow, painful and with uncertain benefits.
If a doctor asked you to have major surgery, you would have to give your written permission once all the facts and risks of the procedure were explained. It should be the same with Brexit. Now we know the details, Parliament should seek our consent for the next step: leave on which terms or stay.
Dr Domonic Swords
Dominic is a Professor in Business Economics and has over 25 years of international experience working with blue-chip companies around the globe. Dominic is a regular contributor to the Hope For Europe blog so watch this space.