Count Me In

Of course I would love Brexit to be revoked, and for us to rejoin the EU on the – very favourable – terms we have now. And it may yet happen. May’s negotiations for a good deal with the remaining 27 look hopeless so long as she sticks to her notorious ‘red lines’. In view of this, however, pressure is mounting for a new referendum on the outcome, with ‘Remain’ being one of the options on the table. With the evidence against Brexit mounting up, the deception and sheer illegality involved in the original ‘Leave’ campaign now revealed, and the difference between what voters were promised and what they’re likely to get becoming more and more clear by the week, the ‘Remain’ side might – just might – win. And in that event one presumes that the EU would take us back: if they thought they could ever trust us British again. (If they didn’t, I for one wouldn’t blame them.)

The main problem, as I wrote a couple of days ago, is the reaction that this might provoke on the other side. Is the prospect of ‘civil war’, which is being held out as a threat by the Brexiters, and which the Government is making contingency plans against (, too alarmist, for a country which is supposed not to have gone in for this kind of thing for nearly four hundred years? (Though there are one two times when, in my estimation, she came close.) The Right in Britain, from whom the Brexit army would be recruited, are looking highly threatening; at least, on Social Media they are.

Popular opinion on Brexit doesn’t seem to be shifting very much; mainly because the real grievances that lay behind it are much the same as they were in 2016. Only a completely new government could make much difference to that. That in itself – under this government – carries the threat of something like civil war if there were a possibility of Brexit’s being dumped. Which is why I’ve argued in favour of compromise, in the post referenced above. That however could be seen as the coward’s way out; and possibly an over-nervous reaction on my part.

Over against that, if it did come to pitched battles between Remainers and Brexiters, I would be only too willing to march (or rather, hobble) out on to the streets to take part in them, on the pro-European side. I’d love to get in there, meeting the Reactionaries and proto-Nazis and press barons and new Imperialists and stockbrokers and Old Etonians and their deluded ‘popular’ following, armed with clever verbal taunts and barbs (I don’t go in much for physical violence), until we have persuaded them of the error of their ways. I can smell the cordite…

About bernardporter2013

Retired academic, author, historian.
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