I’d like a Featherlight Brexit and no-one is offering it

The trouble is, I agree with Mrs May.

Oh, don’t get breathless and excited. I only agree with her about one thing. I don’t agree with her about the kind of country she wants us to live in. I don’t agree with her about the kind of Europe we are going to create. I don’t agree with her about the kind of economy that she wants, which I think will harm the poorest most.

No, I simply agree with that most pathetic and seemingly banal political slogan – brexit means brexit. I wish I didn’t but I do.

If the people of the UK voted for brexit then the UK has to come out of the EU. I don’t see any way of that being avoided with the possible exception of the government falling and a new election being fought entirely on the European question. However, that isn’t going to happen and so brexit really does mean brexit.

There really is no having a referendum vote and ignoring it.

I don’t know what was ever meant by a red, white and blue brexit but what I want is a featherlight brexit.

I want a brexit that retains all the best of the relationship we have with the EU and which leaves the door open to rejoining after a period outside.

However, that doesn’t seem available.

I find it difficult to understand why there isn’t anything like that available politically.

The Lib Dems seem in denial that the referendum on brexit actually means we are leaving.

The Tory party seems mostly hell bent on the worst kind of brexit.

The Labour party seems mostly hell bent on removing itself as a political force.

The SNP seem to think that all that matters is whether or not it brings Scottish independence any further forward.

Our First Minister seemed ruffled and unsure of herself today as though she had not had a script prepared for Theresa May’s well trailed speech. It seems to me that now is the time when we will see what kind of politician Nicola Sturgeon is. She’s been dealt a very rough hand and we’ve no idea whether she will play it well. You can’t really judge a politician by how well they play a good hand and she’s more or less had that up until now. Massive poll ratings and huge electoral success have been very impressive but I simply don’t believe she can win a better brexit deal for Scotland than the rest of the UK gets. To some extent the SNP have been living in a fantasy since the brexit vote.

Ms Sturgeon’s hand might get very much worse this year. If there’s electoral success for the far right in either Holland or France then it is plain that the question will not be whether Scotland should be independent in Europe but whether there’s a Europe left which we want to be in.

I want a brexit that means that people living in the UK from the EU can remain in the UK and vice versa.

I want a brexit that retains interdependent trading with the UK and the EU.

I want a brexit that leaves the door open to a reformed European project which seems inevitable and which Britain would be better engaged with than disengaged with.

However, I don’t feel as though anyone is offering anything like what I want.

Who will form the Featherlight Party with me?




  1. Meg Rosenfeld says

    I’d help if I could, but I’m a Yank with worse problems than yours (I think–maybe not?)

  2. It all depends on whether you think the referendum result was binding. Are we governed by referendum or by Parliament? Why was the Prime Minister’s speech yesterday not made in the first instance to Parliament? Why does David Davis appear to think (as reported in the press) that brexit will go ahead whatever Parliament decides? These questions are particularly relevant in the light of Teresa May’s entirely correct assertion that we are a country with firmly-grounded democratic institutions.

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