As a lifelong Doncaster Rovers fan who has collected more wooden spoons than I’ve eaten hot meals I have become well accustomed to losing over the years.
I voted for Ed Miliband when he lost the general election in 2010 and for Jeremy Corbyn when he lost out in 2015 too. I voted against Boris Johnson twice in the London Mayoral elections and when he won, on both occasions, I accepted it and moved on.
So it makes me chuckle when people say “you lost – get over it” when it comes to the 2016 referendum. Because Brexit wasn’t a defeat – it was a swindled, ill-conceived act of self-preserving idiocy on the part of the Conservatives, and that’s a completely different kettle of fish.
As Damon Evans pointed out on Twitter today, I don’t moan about Brexit because I lost. I moan about it because Brexit is insane. I moan about Brexit because it was unlawful. I moan about it because it was won on false pretences and because it has been proven to be an act of barbaric self-harm. I moan about Brexit because the government’s own analysis says it will make the country worse-off under all scenarios. I moan because Brexit is already taking jobs and is already sending firms packing abroad even without a deal in sight.
Bust most of all I moan about Brexit because I hope that one day soon we may see sense and reverse the decision before the worst of it hits. As Ian Middleton wrote here, it is arguably thanks to the “continued doggedness of remain campaigners that have prevented the worst outcomes so far”, but that’s only good as long as the decision is stalled and businesses have the confidence to keep operating in Britain.
Once that moment has passed then the false promises of the Brexit camp will really unravel and we will come to see just what the so-called majority actually voted for. We will see more multinational headquarters moved overseas and more job losses inflicted as big businesses ship their operations elsewhere. We will see the pound sink along with much of our economy’s wealth and we will ultimately see our livelihoods diminish.
So forgive me while I wax lyrical on the pitfalls of exiting the biggest single market in the world, but it’s not because I like to moan – it’s because Brexit is insane.