I said many months ago that Rishi Sunak is a desperate man, strategically in a corner. I expected him to come up with some disruptive moves to improve his chances of winning an election. In doing so, he would steal Keir Starmer’s clothes on Brexit. Well, he has. Welcome to PAY AS EU GO rejoin. The first signs of this have appeared via the Horizon science deal and paying for French border controls to do our dirty work. As with a phone contract, pay as you go tends to cost you more in the long run for fewer benefits and other restrictions. These changes are a very small nudge towards the centre of British politics. However they are more than counterbalanced by the gross moves towards a fascist state via the latest revelations about the Bibby Stockholm and the intention to break international law by leaving the ECHR. Overall, the Tory party is still being played by Richard Tice, Nigel Farage and their shadowy backers.
The arrival of the Bibby Stockholm floating prison is a grim reminder to us all that fascism is never far from the surface of public life in Britain. Every country in the world has dabbled with various forms of ‘othering’, but Brexit Britain has weaponised racism. This is quite surprising, given that Brexit folklore says that we beat the Bosch and saved the Jews. From the moment that Nigel Farage adopted a Nazi inspired poster to stir up latent racism in Britain, he then won the Brexit referendum by the narrowest of margins. Research from UK in a Changing Europe demonstrates that the austerity programme from 2010 – 2016 produced a 12% swing towards the 51.6 : 48.4 result, as people looked for other people to blame for their concerns. Foreigners are an easy target and Suella Braverman has weaponised the ‘swarms of migrants’ issue to appease her racist backers.
So, why am I not delirious about PAY AS EU GO Rejoin? On the face of it, what I call ‘logical incrementalism’ sounds like a good idea. However, the more sectors that Rishi satisfies, the less people have residual concerns about Brexit. If he solves the scientists’ main concerns, they leave the table, having got some of what they wanted. If he does some kind of single market arrangement, then businesses will be satiated to some degree. The same with farmers. Gradually, the pool of people that are concerned about Brexit gets smaller and smaller through divide and rule tactics.
The end losers will be the 68 million people who have no rights to live, love and prosper in the EU but we have no collective voice compared with big lobbying groups such as Scientists, Universities, Farmers and so on. Until my kids get their rights back, I will never be satisfied. You may call me an idealist or deluded, but I think you owe it to your children and grandchildren to leave them with some hope?
Whilst we are here, Labour have no idea what they are talking about when they say that they will make Brexit work. Our only hope to reform Britain is to work towards a rainbow Parliament with a greater representation of other parties such as Lib Dems, SNP, Greens, Plaid Cymru, True and Fair. I am putting my efforts behind Gina Miller’s True and Fair party.