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An Uncertain Brexit

Before the EU referendum vote I attempted to gauge the feeling of the people around me. Testing the water by talking to people, listening to their views, in some instances arguing, is a much better barometer than a poll done by some highly paid bigwig sat in a London bubble.

During these discussions it became clear to me that the vote to leave the EU would prevail. Membership of the EU has been an open wound since we entered the club back in the 1970's. The toxic, sometimes moronic, arguments over the years have bitten deep into the British psyche. Brussels has been vilified and battered from pillar to post at every opportunity by the press barons and their willing accomplices who write for them. Highlighting interference in national affairs, cultural norms and a waste of money has been the staple headline for years.

But what did the British people actually vote for? Did they all vote for the same thing? Or were they just confused by the whole affair?

From the ensuing debate swirling around since Cameron went nuclear and bestowed Theresa May on the country, it's difficult to be certain where the British people really wanted to be. The issues the result raised are immense for the future of this country, and anyone who thinks they know the definitive answers is probably residing in cloud-cuckoo-land! Immigration. Crime.Trade. Law. Employment. Our place in the world. The City of London. Sovereignty. Defence. Great Britain itself. This is a megaton of headaches all rolled into one.

During the campaign the claims and counter-claims, in my opinion, didn't make a jot of difference to the way people intended to vote. Of course, with Brexiteers winning the vote, it is their claims that now deserve scrutiny. Take, for instance, the £350m that would be spent on the NHS - dropped immediately! Did anyone really think this was for real?

Immigration was high on the agenda too. And always a fallback position for anyone wanting to leave the EU when all other avenues of argument failed. 'The country is full. We can't take anymore people in!' was the constant refrain. (Of course, the few neanderthals walking our streets, thought that there would be no foreign people in the country the day after the vote!) To date, I haven't heard one government minister explain what a sensible immigration policy is. But we can guarantee one thing. The rich businessmen and overpaid footballers will continue to be invited with open arms, while the poor will be held back at Calais.

If I may be allowed one observation, It does seem that many people believe that when a British person emigrates, the country of destination is suddenly a better place for it. Perhaps, when Brexiteeers, Johnson, Fox and Davis draw up their wonderfully stringent immigration plans, they will do likewise with the emigration rules too. Surely we can't foist all our undesirables onto another country? Or maybe we can have our cake and eat it, Boris?

Sovereignty was another big issue. Who rules us? The Outers were banging on about unelected foreigners sat in Brussels dictating laws to a poor down-trodden Britain. This was a straight banana argument, if ever there was one. So the people in the EU were unelected? So what difference does that make when you've got a monarch perched on the throne and a set of Lords benefitting from the patronage of whatever Prime Minister was in power at the time. If you want democracy, get rid of them and then we'll talk more about sovereignty and who rules this sceptred - or should I say septic? - isle.

The minds of the great are now busy trying to work out whether we still want to be part of the single market. To remain part of it entails keeping free movement. Surely that was what the British were voting against? Wasn't it? So let's ditch the single market and move to the more expensive WTO rules, shall we? Jobs anyone?

By holding the referendum Cameron didn't just give the British people a say on what their future should be, he divided a nation that probably didn't need any help. He let the cat out of the bag for openly racist behaviour (check the recent rate hate crime figures - 42% in the week of the referendum). He gave the foreign press barons a say in our country's future, when at the same time refusing the people of Europe an option to boot the upstart out or retain it.

In the near future, Britain, as we know it, may disintegrate before our eyes. The SNP will almost certainly force a 2nd independence referendum. The island of Ireland may well decide its future is together in a united Europe, as opposed to a disunited Great Britain. This, I'm sure, was not the intention of the Brexiteers, but these are distinct possibilities. If you take that line of thought further, then our permanent seat on the UN Security Council may well go for a burton too. As will our influence in the world, for good or ill.

Whichever Brexit path we take, Hard or Soft, it's going to be rocky. What we need is a clear headed government that looks at all the options, talks to parliament, talks to the people and comes to a sensible conclusion to the whole sorry affair. It is sorry because we could be talking about health, education and other important matters instead. It may be, as inconceivable as it feels now, that we have a 2nd referendum on what Parliament decides. One where a satisfactory conclusion is agreed by all and we can move forward together. Because if we don't, then the remainers will be harping on for the next 40 years - just like the Brexiteers have been doing. Until they got their way, of course!

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