Well, who would have believed it? David Davis, the Brexit Secretary has resigned. Ironically, in my mind this has clarified many things.
I have long believed that the referendum of 2016 was not simply, a leave or stay in the EU result. Basically, there were more than two 'clean' sides in that referendum. Not just the 'extremists' of both sides, but an undefined group in the middle. Those that Cameron had convinced had been given a slightly better deal (but the best deal they could hope for and the 'complainers' for at of a better word. Those who were simply registering a protest vote against austerity.
The 'hardliners' were those that wanted out of the EU, whatever happened, whatever the cost, they wanted parliament supreme and immigration control. They also wanted to deal with the EU on the same terms as they had before, thinking it was to both their both their benefits, never once considering the problem EU faces. Since the Brexiteers are not total idiots, I have to assume that they knew from the beginning that they would get little if any of the trade requirements they demanded without having to forego some of their red lines. Ergo, we now know that they are liars, as proven by the way people like David Davis have been trotting round the EU trying to sow the seeds of discontent among EU members and "effectively" urging rebellion. Now they are faced with a 'No deal scenario'. The Remainers on the other hand have remained the same as they have been from the beginning.
The referendum in 2016 should have been a decision about these two extreme teams teams, but it wasn't. Ask any radio operator and he will tell you about 'white noise' White noise is that hissing sound, some call static, that lower the quality of the message being transmitted over electronic communication devices, occasionally to the point where the message becomes undecipherable. Such was the referendum of 2016.
Some believed that Cameron had negotiated a lousy deal and UK should go back and get better terms. Those weren't voting on the EU at all were so pissed off with the governments austerity policy that they thought they would simply register a protest vote, never thinking for a moment the government would lose or that they could swing the election. They were really surprised to find out they won; and disappointed thereafter to find out it didn't make a blind bit of difference to their plight. Be that as it may, the leave vote won and Teresa May's government was sent back to EU to get better terms.
But the loss of the referendum was a far bigger earthquake than was expected and it terrified the EU. They could see the end of the EU, as it slowly unraveled. 2017 was a really tough year for them, but they survived. Wilders in the Netherlands lost. Macron, a strong proponent for the EU was voted in France and the Greek economy is improving. Certainly a few big problems remain like immigration, but effectively they have answered the question; "Do you want to stay in the EU?"
The children of the EU were categorical in their response. Even those with a soft spot for the UK who want to see a UK deal, were never willing to sacrifice the EU, hence their acceptance of Barnier to speak on their behalf.
"Sure we have problems" they said, but we will solve them. We want the EU. This is a message that the UK just doesn't seem to get. Possibly all those centuries of empire have clouded their judgement, but like the US, they seem to think every problem is a question of pounds and cents. They think that €40bn as a divorce bill will buy them everything they want, but they are discovering that there are things that some people at least consider principles more important.
This mentality is due to be exemplified this week by some. They believe that because Donald Trump was 'democratically' elected in the US, the UK should welcome him with open arms in order to do trade deals. They fact that he is a racist, (see his comments on African countries), a sexist and lecher (see his comments on women before election, not to mention his comments on his own daughter) and an immoral opportunist, (see his comments on torture and waterboarding, not to mention his treatment of immigrant children); is all seen to be irrelevant. Anything for a buck has always been the policy of the UK foreign office, but now it seems it is the official policy of the government.
For a price we would be happy to drop trousers and bend over, for anybody. What we have now, two years later that we didn't have in2016, is some clarity. Some were aware of the problems of an Irish border, or that Scotland may want to leave, and they tried to warn others but their voices were lost in the noise. We now know that the EU considers that UK has a bill, not charity, but obligations, and this has been agreed at around £39bn, even if this is not legally binding. Strictly speaking this should be paid even if there is no deal, but of course this is unacceptable by the hard line Brexiteers. So much for May's statement, we respect and pay our obligations.
The threat of leaving with no agreement is not a threat at all. Many businesses have already said they plan offices and manufacturing in the EU. The service sector, around 80% of the economy has already begun to make changes, but most of all, the EU have already answered the question, do we want an EU (2017) and are willing (with reluctance) to just say goodbye, good luck see you in WTO offices, if Trump hasn't torched the building by then.
Therefore, now, what we don't know yet, is how big is that group in the middle, that which is not solid remain or leave, and that is what I am suggesting can only be answered in a three way vote by the people themselves. The government can't do it. The parliament can't do it.
A few months ago I conducted a 7 day twitter poll (height of scientific research). With almost 30.000 votes, the results were decisive. (Yes I did get more than my fair share of insults). Ironically, even another referendum would not solve this question for the simple reason that Labour is also divided in exactly the same way.
So people, pressure the government into allowing another vote for another vote.