On Tuesday of this week, I posted a vision of what life would be like if we voted to Leave next week. It was a terrifying look into a UK taken over by the right of the Conservative Party. But having discussed it with others since, I think I may have actually been a little optimistic when I wrote that article.
I painted a picture of a Britain in which the right of the Tories had won, with a move to the UK being a Singapore off the coast of France, with huge tax breaks to keep business interested being afforded by massive cuts to public spending. But here’s the thing – even that probably won’t happen. And as bad as lots of it is, at least it’s a clear cut vision of the country’s future. No, instead, we’ll probably get the two wings of the Tory Leave mindset battling to a stand still. With everyone else in the country losing in the process.
On one side you have the John Redwood types. They have wanted Brexit for years and years as they rightly see it as an opportunity to put their vision of a small state, low tax Britain into practice. On the other side you have the Iain Duncan Smith bunch, who have some fuzzy idea of what Brexit looks like that is confusing and muddled. Basically, it’s sort of exactly how it is now, only we’re out of the EU and have “total sovereignty” – well, at least until we start discussing trade deals with China anyhow.
I could easily see these two groups waging a war between them for the direction of post-Brexit Britain, with the end result being nothing happens. And normally that wouldn’t be great, but coming on the heels of Brexit, it could be a disaster of truly epic proportions. Business will want answers as to what comes next – if the UK government can’t give it to them, anything could happen next. In the middle of it all will probably be Boris, his foot in neither camp in reality, procrastinating the whole way, hoping it somehow turns out all right in the end without him having to anything at all about it, the story of his life.
So don’t discount what I wrote regarding what Brexit might look like on Tuesday – I still think it is a valid possibility for what happens if we left the EU. The only thing the last two days of talking about it with others and thinking about it a little deeper have taught me is that is what the UK will be like if we’re lucky.
Harry Dowling says
Funny how no two people, attempting to peer into the future, will conjure the same vision. Have you been good at this prediction lark in the past? What do you think your success rate is?
In book publishing there used to be a sort of rule that a successful editor was one who could manage in commissioning five new titles to produce one destined for the remainder pile, three middling, break-even titles, and one big earner. And that’s a successful editor with knowledge of his field and the needs of the market.
I think all you have done is tell us what you worry about.
You have every right to do so, of course.
Toby Fenwick says
I’m less uncertain than you – if we vote to Leave, then there will be a mad dash for the EEA as business makes clear that Gove’s stupidity on the single market is unacceptable. The UKIP Lite racist right will point out this means free movement, Gove points out that it means government by email and both get ignored because of the economic impacts. A clear majority of MPs are pro single market (indeed pro Remain).
At least if the worst happens, this is the least damaging outcome.
James Sinclair says
Here’s another thought…
After the months, indeed years, of dogwhistle, and now overt, racism and anti-immigrant rhetoric whipped up by UKIP and their fellow travellers on the right of the Conservative Party, we are going to see some serious unrest. The angry Little Englanders have been promised by Farage etc. that they will ‘get their country back’ (perhaps not co-incidentally, that is also the tagline of the odious Britain First group). They are going to be very unhappy indeed when they realise that the central promise of the Leave campaign, i.e. substantially lower immigration, isn’t going to happen, or if it does, it is going to happen at their expense, courtesy of a crashed economy.
The question is, who will they blame? Presumably the EU for not extending to the newly independent UK a sweetheart deal not on offer to EU members. Alternatively they might eventually start to see that they were sold a pack of lies by a small number of unscrupulous, divisive, careerist and wealthy/protected politicians. To whom will PM Boris turn for scapegoats when the whipping boy of the EU is out of the picture and he and his ‘team’ (IDS, Gove, Howard, Redwood, Farage, Lamont etc.) are left with nothing but their own incompetence for company?
Lisa Gooch-Knowles says
As someone who doesn’t understand, or pretend to understand,all the intricacies around the economics of the economy, I turn off and zone out , as I’m sure most people do. I do however understand and realise that we, as a small island nation cannot survive in this fast pace, instant, world, on our own. Brexit Briton will be a scary place to be in.
For me, Brexit rhetoric ” close our borders!” Is a nonsense, we live on an island!! Our borders are secured by the sea lol,
Our immigration is historically “old” 1066 comes to mind, that was an actual invasion. Poor, broken,wretched , but proud people coming to us for help, is not an invasion, we have not reached breaking point,
It scares me that Brexit is winning , based purely on immigration scaremongering. Far Right wing politics seems to be contagious. In the event of a Brexit win David Cameron will have to go, God forbid we get lumbered with Boris, Britain First will come crawling out from their sewers,.
I read somewhere, someone said” not all Brexit people are racist, but all racists will vote Brexit”
I fear a Brexit Britain for these reasons.
Oh , and for all the economy stuff as well
Alison Willott says
I am cogitating on the fact that apparently a huge majority of our MPs are anti-Brexit and for Remain. So if the country votes for Brexit, we may have a similar situation to capital punishment, where polls often show a majority of the country wants it, but MPs nevertheless refuse to vote for it because their consciences won’t let them. If an MP is totally convinced that Leave will damage the country, are they going to be able to ignore their personal fears and vote through legislation that will accomplish this, just because the referendum says so? Or might they find it impossible to go against their personal conscience? A tricky decision for convinced Europeans.