Brexit - a viewpoint by Stuart Laycock


It is a long time since our nation has been as divided as it currently is over Brexit. But however you voted in the Brexit referendum or if you chose not to vote there are probably more bits almost everyone can agree on than you might think, and as we advance into 2018, those areas are only going to become more important.

a) It would have been nice to have more and better information from both Leave and Remain campaigns about what leaving the EU would actually mean for the UK economy. b) If Brexit is going to happen the UK needs its most powerful and effective negotiating team working on it and working on assessing the likely impact of various models of Brexit. c) Whatever happens, the sooner we never have to hear about Brexit ever again, the better.

On point a) there was no excuse and is no excuse now for deliberate attempts to mislead, but to be fair to both Remain and Leave campaigns it was hard to give reliable predictions when so many factors were unknown, particularly the attitude of the EU. At this stage, though, it is possible to make much more accurate predictions.

On point b) there can be few among both Leavers and Remainers who really believe that the UK's negotiating team has so far been massively effective and few who really believe it will suddenly become so in 2018. Equally many among both Leavers and Remainers must be hugely concerned that the government seems to have done so little to assess the likely economic impact of different types of Brexit.

On point c) the only route to settling the Brexit question forever and reuniting the country is to make sure that the results of whatever finally happens with Brexit are as good for Britain as possible.

The ONLY route to dealing with all the difficult points raised by a), b) and c) is a second referendum where the British people get to decide whether they think the Brexit deal finally agreed is better than the EU deal we currently have. In a proud democracy, surely it is the people themselves who deserve the final say on exactly what their future will look like.


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