Just a thought

I feel for readers who voted Leave in 2016 on the basis of false promises and now face a stark choice: either recognise today’s reality and look forward to a People’s Vote on the final terms of Brexit; or prepare to live with the catastrophic consequences of either Theresa May’s Chequers plan (described by Boris Johnson as “a turd” and “f**k business”) or leaving with ‘no deal’ (rated 60% probable by Liam Fox, the man who told us in 2016 that Brexit would be “the easiest trade deal in human history”).

In this context, it’s important to draw attention to outrageous differences between what leading Brexiteers said before and since the EU referendum. For instance, let’s take a look at Owen Paterson. You’ll remember he was the former Environment Secretary who forced-through a badger cull in Somerset that experts predicted would fail, and, yet, in 2013, when the cull failed, went on TV to blame the badgers, infamously saying “the badgers moved the goalposts” – hard to believe but true.

So, what has Owen Paterson been saying about Brexit?

• In 2014, “We should negotiate a new settlement while keeping our vital position in the Single Market”;
• Again in 2014, “The only realistic option is to stay within the EEA. The EEA is tailor-made for this purpose, and can be accessed by joining EFTA first”;
• In 2016, during the Referendum campaign, “Only a mad man would leave the Single Market”; but
• In contrast, a week ago, the Norway option would be rubbish and “EFTA and/or the EEA or an EFTA-type arrangement would not be Brexit at all.”

How can arch-Brexiteers, like Paterson, be allowed by our mainstream press and media to get away with this level of duplicity and deception without being exposed to public ridicule?

With politicians like this at the helm of Brexit, perhaps we’d all be better governed by the badgers. At least they’d address the very real problems facing the UK today, like our scandalous housing crisis, critical underfunding of healthcare, social care, policing and other public services, the adverse impact of uncontrolled, under-resourced migration locally, the North-South divide, etc, and also start building a fairer, more just, more equitable society in the UK.

The answer is simple: give voters the facts about the final terms of Brexit and let them decide if this is what they want. Who could possibly object?