It was a mixed year for the Brexit inclined. The general election was messy from a Brexit perspective: sure, one can say that given Labour’s hard Brexit stance at the time, 85% of the electorate voted for parties that supported not just leaving the EU, but doing so in the “cleanest” way possible. Yet given Mrs May ran on the idea of the electorate giving her a mandate to preside over whatever Brexit she saw fit, the result was problematic.
Still, it appears we really are leaving the European Union, whatever hopes might be raised out there in Europhile hearts regarding second referenda, a court challenge on the validity of Article 50, etc. And despite all that, you guys are still where you have been since June 23rd, 2016: mainly very angry. Sorry to say it, but it’s true. You seem to spend a lot of time chastising Remainers (or Remoaners, as you call them); calling them “saboteurs” and “enemies of the people” while urging someone or other to crush them. There are a few major problems with this. No, not the ones everyone goes on about all the time, like the shape of British democratic debate (harder to do when dissension equals sedition), or the culture war that Brexit exasperated (some say created, but I wouldn’t go that far myself). Rather what I’m on about is the problem this creates for Brexit itself.
I often wonder when I read articles written by Leavers about how Vince Cable and co are plotting to overturn the will of the 52% why instead of trying to fight this silly battle you guys don’t instead use your collective energy to try and convince swing Remainers that leaving the EU will be a good thing. This will probably surprise you, but you don’t engage in this often at all, at least not since the referendum was won. Think about it: “Brexit won’t be the apocalypse” wasn’t on the side of a red bus for a reason. It sometimes comes across like you guys yourselves don’t think Brexit will be any good; just that it sort of needs to be done, like how the pagans probably considered sacrificing a virgin on an appointed solstice. Ugly stuff, but just one of those things in life that needs to be done.
The Tories worry about reconnecting with the young. The young are particularly Remainery. Hey, how about killing two birds here and pitch Brexit to young people? Tell them why it will be great. Surely you have some ideas about why Brexit will be great for the young, right? Why else do you want it to happen?
So many Brexiteers seem to be in a hurry to get Brexit done, just so we’re out. What they haven’t figured out is that Brexit is by no means a guaranteed permanent state of affairs. If young people overwhelmingly see Brexit as a disaster – and here’s the catch, even if it isn’t one, really – then there will be a political will to re-join the EU at some point that may become overwhelming. I don’t mean to say that this could happen quickly, but surely if you think Brexit means the regaining of British sovereignty, you must have some stake in making sure it lasts. Don’t you? Otherwise, I really am lost here.
What I’m saying is that unless a reasonable portion of the generation that voted 70-30 to Remain aren’t persuaded of Brexit’s merits and come to see it as a positive, I think re-joining the EU in the future is a definite possibility. I’m not saying that in a Remoanery way, like “hey guys, you’ll all be dead soon and the young will have their revenge”. I’m just honestly warning you here: unless you stop calling Remainers traitors and saboteurs and start trying to sell Brexit to as much of the 48% as you can instead, your project is in serious long term danger.