The biggest claim made by Brexiteers right now is that Remainers do not understand them. If only we tried a bit harder it would be obvious what this is all about, they say.
It's about national pride; democracy; taking back control; having our own laws; deciding who lives here.
I think those are their claims. Tell me if there are more. Just don't mention economics: it does not come into it.
And I have genuinely heard all those points. And I comprehend them. I also happen to think they're misplaced with Brexit. That will destroy national pride. It's undermining democracy, very clearly. We're not getting control: we'll be out of control. Who knows who will be making our laws when the Union collapses, but either way the WTO will still be imposed on us. And we do already in very large degree have the ability to decide who lives here and have never exercised it.
So, at a gut level the argument makes no sense. Sorry, but that is the case. None of the objectives of Brexit are going to be achieved by doing it.
It's worse though. We would have expected those with the political leadership of the Brexit cause to have worked out what they were doing. We know they didn't: they only really intended to 'blow the doors off' and then Cummings messed up their plans, and those of all the rest of us.
And as result we are utterly rudderless. And they are utterly clueless. Hence this wholly appropriate comment on the blog from someone who calls himself Benzo but whose real identity I admit I know:
I’m having a real hard time trying to understand what the objectives of the Brexiteers are with respect of Northern Ireland.
The way I see you have the following options:
i) UK stays in a customs union and keeps free movement, including NI
ii) UK except NI leaves customs union and ends free movement, border in the Irish Sea
iii) UK incl. NI leaves customs union and ends movement, north south border in Ireland.
But the Brexiteers will not accept any of the three. Their argument seems to be that i) is totally out of the question, that is why we are leaving. ii) It’s absolutely unacceptable to them that there should be a difference between NI and the rest of the UK. And that iii) is unacceptable, but also unnecessary, if it happens it will be the fault of the EU.
So the question is posed to the Brexiteers, how do you solve this problem? To which they reply “Malthouse, alternative arrangements, technology”. But of course when pressed on what that would entail, they can’t give an answer… because it’s not possible.
The rhetoric amongst Brexiteers now seems to be “well, if there’s a border with the EU, then that is the fault of the big, bad EU, not us!”.
Which is the most impossible logical situation to be in…
— It’s the UK (Brexiteers) that wants to exit the EU and have an independent regulatory regime for our goods and services. This is not compatible with an open border, not on the EU’s terms, but also not the UK’s. It’s not ‘taking back control’ to have an uncontrolled flow of smuggled goods into the country through NI.
— It’s the UK that wants to end free movement. It’s not taking back control to have an open border where people can just come and go as they please. As far as I can tell it is impossible to have immigration controls between Ireland and the UK post free movement, without first coming up some incredibly sophisticated system. I mean come on, we don’t even do exit controls at our ports. We have pretty much no idea who is in the UK as it is.
So — the Brexiteers are demanding the impossible. It’s contradictory ON THEIR OWN TERMS. Somewhere they have to make a decision about having a border somewhere, and clearly that’s not politically acceptable between the Republic and NI.
Disingenuous doesn’t even begin to cover it. More like, trying to achieve the logically impossible without even knowing what they want to achieve.
Spot on Benzo: there is no logic here. And the Brexiteers are demanding the impossible. That's because they never did consider that they wanted this: they did, quite literally, just want to keep the pot boiling and give it a good stir. They never intended Brexit to happen. All they wanted was a bit of blue on blue action. If they had they'd have thought these things through they'd have anticipated these problems. But they never did. Because they never thought that they needed to. So they didn't. And so they have no answer to them.
And that's why Brexiteers are impossible to understand.
Just remember: this was never meant to happen.