My heart is heavy today. Looking from my window I see a smaller view: a clear case of a change in attitude driving a change in perception. I am expecting a continual stream of attempts to cheer me, convince me and cajole me on the benefits of Brexit. Either that or complete silence if it proves too difficult to big Brexit up. Already the more slippery politicians are distancing themselves from the project.
Just have a look in your larder or your wardrobe: I will be surprised if even half of the things there have a UK origin. The UK imports about 85% of all the vegetables we bring in from the EU. The Netherlands provide the bulk of tomatoes and onions while Spain sources most of the cauliflower and celery, two fast-growing commodities. France is our leading potato supplier. Already we are hearing about delays, paperwork, complicated procedures and difficulties. This is certain to show in price rises. No-one who voted Leave appears to have thought or been conscious of the streamlined, efficient, exchange of goods and services we enjoyed as members. All the negativity focuses on the relatively small numbers of EU citizens doing jobs here.
Imports from the EU will become either more expensive or unavailable once customs and regulatory procedures applied to non-member states are enforced. Interestingly the UK has already said it will not enforce such ‘checks’ on goods arriving from the EU. I very much doubt that Europeans will ignore rules in the same way. It would be unfair to other growers, producers and importers both in and outside the European Union.
EU countries may simply seek sources and destinations for goods and services among their fellow EU members. Easiest option? Don’t bother with the UK, too many processes, delays and procedures.
What did people think they were voting for when they voted to leave a union that provides so much of our daily fare? Cutting off these networks – or making them difficult to operate – will increase costs and delays. Loss of EU support for poorer UK regions, increased difficulties in traveling or transacting with our European neighbours are both certain, yet were not pointed out in the run-up to the referendum of 2016.
Why would you vote for these losses, in exchange for a helping of something ephemeral and vague like ‘sovereignty’? Why were none of these obvious disadvantages made clear by MSM? Why was the label ‘Project Fear’ accepted by those who pointed out the problems? Strident nationalism has insular and regressive components, always seeking imaginary ‘good old days’. For most adults those days will have been while we were EU members. That fact will be brushed under the carpet as people yearn for what is lost.
Would you expect to continue to receive favours from someone you had divorced? Do you have an answer to the tricky question of how improvements in UK infrastructure in poorer regions will be supported with no development funding? We have voluntarily chosen a road back to isolated, drab, despairing 1970’s Britain.
Back then, most of us did not have central heating or even hot running water. Many did not have an inside loo. Most did not have a car; in my own street in 1970 there were just two cars among two hundred houses. We have come a long way and the EU has been an enabler and fellow traveller. If you can’t remember it, just YouTube a video or two. This link will get you started: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fy0xlOE5Ctg