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Wealden Liberal Democrats

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It’s Not Too Late – JUST

April 11, 2018 3:27 PM

Wealden LibDems Vice Chair Alan Whittaker says

Just under a year from today Britain will know its destiny. Will we have exited from Brexit or will we have left the world's largest democratic market? Will we be facing a prosperous future or entering a downward economic spiral? Will our children and grandchildren be rich or facing third world economic status?

A year is a very long time in politics.

And two years is even longer. In 2016 the pro-EU Prime Minister, David Cameron, in a cynical attempt to control his right wing called an advisory referendum on the EU. He effectively put party before country and paid the price. He exited Number 10.

Only 37 per cent of the electorate voted to leave the EU. Where is the mandate to leave? How can this be Teresa May's "will of the people"? The former Remainer is faced with the same right wing chauvinistic, economic illiterates that Cameron wrestled with. At the beginning of the month Michael Heseltine said that right wing MPs "held a knife to her [May's] throat; in an attempt at appeasing them she has become a blinkered, unyielding Brexiter. Party before country again?

If Brexit does occur, then the "left behinds" will find life even tougher. It was these largely unemployed who voted to leave the EU, possibly because they had swallowed the lies of the Johnson/Grove brigade. Remember the weekly £350 million for the NHS, and how life would be rosier once Britain had "taken back control". Control of what, exactly? Professor Keith Popple (Sussex Express, March 16) clearly stated the democratic and administrative parallels the EU has with the UK. Both enjoy democratically elected parliaments but the EU does not have an unelected House of Lords! Britain does have a vote in Brussels.

Why would a traditionally outward-looking country like the UK want to retreat into a twenty-first century splendid isolation? Trump has made it clear there are no deals in the pipeline for an isolationist Britain. The world's two largest economies, China and India, would rather trade with the world's richest market, the EU, than a go-it-alone United Kingdom.

Why is it that the Brexiters wilfully ignore the facts of economic and social life? Since the referendum the NHS has seen the number of incoming EU nurses fall by 89 per cent and the number leaving rise by 67 per cent. Medical research and development is endangered after Pfizer's decision to leave Britain, Banks in the City are eyeing German cities as potential sites for their headquarters, Unilever is moving to Rotterdam. The upheavals make sense to Big Business. Why stay with a shrinking market of an island on the edge of the Continent, when a prosperous, sophisticated marketplace of nearly half a billion beckons?

Former Prime Ministers and Deputy Prime Ministers of the three main parties have advised against following Teresa May's Leave strategy. Is it wise to ignore the combined experience of John Major, Tony Blair, Michael Heseltine, Nick Clegg and yes, David Cameron?

It is fair to say that many, perhaps the majority, of the nation's elderly people, possibly nostalgic for a lost empire, want to leave the EU. Put brutally, what have they to lose? It is future generations who will face lower living standards and huge medical fees if we don't Exit from Brexit. John Major warns: We cannot [leave the EU] move to a radical enterprise economy without moving away from a welfare state."

It is not too late to tell Brussels that Britain has come to its collective senses. Vince Cable recognises this and states: "Our goal as Liberal Democrats [is] winning an Exit from Brexit".

It really is not too late -just.