27th November 2017
This is a tweet in response to yesterday’s post here at Jack of Kent.
Unfollowing Jack of Kent blog, he seems to have crossed to the other side.
— RemainerAction (@RemainerAction) November 26, 2017
The post yesterday was critical of a tweet heavily RTd by influential Leavers.
The post also warned Remainers that the UK will leave the EU by automatic operation of law on 29 March 2019, unless something exceptional happens – and that re-fighting the 2016 referendum would not directly lead to Brexit being revoked.
But @RemainerAction saw this as “crossing to the other side”.
In fact, I was never on the Remain “side” to begin with, at least not in principle.
I have no objection to Brexit in principle – my blogging is usually about the problems about how it is (not) being done in practice and the madness of the Article 50 process.
(That said, I admire the Single Market and the “four freedoms”.)
The reason I have so far focused on Leave daftness and lack of realism is because it is evident in (indeed, demonstrated by) news events every day.
But Leave do not have a monopoly in their lack of realism.
Some Remainers seem to think that the Article 50 process, once triggered, can be ended lightly.
Just a matter of politics; just a quick fix; just some tinkering; it will all be alright in the end.
And there is some force to this: if the politics of Brexit change, then the legal process can be ended (or paused).
If a lever is pulled then the conveyor belt to the big industrial jagged saw will jolt and then halt.
But the politics takes place in a framework of hard law: and the hard law is that, under the EU treaty, the UK departs the EU on 29 March 2019 (unless something exceptional happens).
The politics of Brexit are subject to that deep legal truth.
But some Remainers are as blinkered as the hardest hard-Brexit Leavers.
Every challenge to Brexit must be cheered, however ludicrous.
Partisanship on Brexit is not just a feature of Leave supporters.
Brexit will not be easy; but reversing Brexit, since the Article 50 notification has been sent, will also not now be easy.
There is an old famous observation that the first battles of each war are lost when generals re-fight the battles of the war before.
The battle to reverse Brexit may also be lost because Remainers (and others opposed to the government’s policy on Brexit) are re-fighting the referendum.
Brexit can only be stopped (if at all) if:
(a) the UK government formally asks the European Council that the Article 50 notification be revoked; and
(b) the European Council accepts this revocation (or, if the revocation is not accepted, the revocation is upheld by the European Court of Justice).
Unless a political or legal action leads directly to this outcome then it will not make the difference. Brexit will still go ahead.
And pointing this out is not to “cross to the other side”.
It is instead to be looking ahead.
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