The EU referendum and the question of whether we sever ties from union with our neighbouring countries has divided both politics and households.
Nothing could persuade many die-hard Europhiles that remaining in the EU might be a better option for the UK. Britain Thinks found 37 per cent of Leave voters are ‘Die-hards’ who want out of the EU at any cost.
However, this implies that 63 per cent of the 17.4m, like myself, who voted to leave the EU (16.1m voted to remain) could be open to changing their minds. If recent polls are anything to go by, coupled with the current clown show of Tory Brexit negotiations, much of the general public appears to be turning its backs on Brexit.
So why does the public seem to be falling out of love with Brexit? Here are the top ten Brexit grievances:
1 – €50m Brexit bill: Whilst we all remember Boris and Davis’ confident bluster that the EU can ‘go whistle for cash, pragmatists reminded us that we will have legal obligations to fulfil, especially if we still want a relationship with our largest trading partners. The shambolic negotiations appear to have resulted in capitulation, rather than compromise, to get out of deadlock. The public mood seems to have soured since realising the scale of the financial fallout from leaving the Union.
2 – DUP deal: The snap General Election left the Tory party’s EU mandate in tatters. Without a clear majority, only a £1bn+ ‘sweetner’ to the Northern Irish DUP party could keep the Tories in power. Last night the DUP derailed Theresa May’s plans for a NI border solution to mover Brexit negotiations forward. It seems that May is now fighting on two fronts and many Brits don’t like the idea of the DUP calling the shots over Westminster.
3 – NHS in peril: The infamous ‘£350m per week to the NHS’ Brexit bus was enough to make us believe that at least some cash would find its way to the NHS. But it didn’t look promising when just hours after the referendum vote, Nigel Farage admitted that the £350m figure was a ‘mistake’. That figure has since been completely debunked, and even the vote leave director admitted that the campaign was built on a lie. NHS leaders have stressed that Brexit is bad for the NHS. British people hate being lied to.
4 – Devalued currency: Whilst it was obvious to economists, many of us didn’t consider the squeeze on our pockets if money started pouring out of the UK. Michael Gove did a great job at negating any forecasters by saying the public are ‘had enough of experts’. After the vote, the pound tanked making almost everything we purchase became more expensive. A squeeze on households during times of ongoing austerity and wage deflation is one sure-fire way to pee off the public.
5 – Low growth forecasts: Whilst, the low pound is a short term indicator which may eventually lead to some long term benefits for manufacturing and exporters, low growth forecasts are a lot more worrying. The bleak outlook is spooking investors and is starting to back up what businesses are feeling. Low growth and low investment is bad news for everyone.
6 – Tory party in shambles: Whilst poverty is rising and the NHS is being run down, the public is witnessing a new scandal in the Tory party on a weekly basis. Perhaps there is a realisation that those who used the EU referendum as a protest vote to kick Cameron and the establishment in the balls were directing their anger at the wrong set of leaders.
7- Rise in xenophobia and hate crime: All voters have varying reasons for voting to leave or remain part of the Union. But most leavers are not comfortable being associated with the idiotic minority responsible for the astonishing rise in hate crime. Far right groups have become emboldened by some of the anti-immigration rhetoric coming from Westminster, and one such group, who have seen staggering rises in membership, even had the support of Donald Trump last week.
8 – The Trump effect: Trump’s rise to power has been linked to the rise of populism and a worrying increase in the politics of confrontation and division, a worrying trend in the UK too since David Cameron agreed to have a referendum on membership of the EU. Whilst Trump appeared supportive of Brexit and a trade deal with the UK outside the EU, promising a fast track to trade deals, his true colours soon shone when he decided to stick huge tariffs on UK manufacturer Bombardier.
9 – Likelihood of no-deal Brexit: We all know the EU has its problems. Moderate voters were undoubtably looking at a scenario where we can unburden ourselves from EU rule, but remain in the customs union to trade with our largest trading partners. However, a hard Brexit looks increasingly likely, which will have far reaching consequences. Moderate Brexiteers didn’t vote for this interpretation of Brexit.
10 – Nigel Farrage keeping his EU pension: The poster boy of Brexit may be the hero to some, but to others his support for Trump and failure to condemn some far-right activity has been hard to stomach. This week he also said he is refusing to give up his taxpayer-funded EU pension after Brexit. Given that he has been a major critic of the Brexit bill and the EU, it’s hard to square the circle that the Brexit bill will be paying for his retirement. The Guardian report that he will be entitled to an annual pension of £73,000 at 63.
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