Evan Davies, one of the BBC’s best news program hosts, was interviewing Bill Cash, a strongly Brexit supporting Tory MP, on PM on Radio 4 this last night. Evan asked ‘under what circumstances would you regard Brexit as a failure?’.
It took a bit of toing and froing to get to an answer but when it came it was pretty dreadful in the absolute meaning of the word.
Mr Cash, actually he’s a Sir but I never understand why people get these titles and why we’re obliged to use them, finally explained that as long as ‘Brexit is delivered’ that’s a success. No consideration of the economy of the country, our status and influence in the world or the impact on the lives, opportunities and freedoms of today’s and future generations of young people. Just get it done and that’s not just a result it’s a success.
Of course Mr Cash’s argument was all couched in terms of honouring the result of the referendum, delivering on the decisions made by parliament and taking back control. It’s what they all say. But he and others like him forget that its the role of leaders to secure the best future for our country. That’s a difficult thing to do because it depends on balancing multiple criteria and delivering a future which is good for most, if not all, people. Much easier to be binary and to ignore such complexities.
Because, as we all (or at least most of us) know, we will be poorer as a nation, we will stand less tall in the world and we will deny our children and their children etc the opportunities that current and recent generations have enjoyed.
It won’t affect me. I live in a part of the UK which will do well regardless, I’m of an age that I’ve got a pension and it’s not a bad one and I’m not dependent on the economy, our position in the world or the opportunities which might or night not be presented. But I do worry for those that will be affected and I’m angry that Brexit need not have happened and that men like Bill Cash are so inured to its effect.
No I don’t want to talk about it. At this moment there’s no point. Maybe later this year when the terms of our post Brexit deal become known there will be strong leaders who’ll say ‘this is bad for our country’. Then maybe we can have a rational dialogue which goes beyond the fatuous ‘get Brexit done’.