Let’s put what you call the ‘scaremongering’ aside for a moment. There is a terrible truth about leaving the EU that it has surprised me that neither May nor the pro-Remainers in Parliament have voiced directly.
I am sure that ordinary people do not really understand the kerfuffle over the Irish ‘backstop’. Let me explain.
When negotiations about Brexit opened it was suddenly realised that, for some reason, we had all forgotten Northern Ireland. Just to emphasise, Northern Ireland is one of the countries of the United Kingdom. It is the only country that has a border with an EU country, the Republic of Ireland. Because of the free trade that exists amongst EU countries goods, services and people flow freely across their borders. This would cease immediately when we leave the EU, greatly disadvantaging Northern Ireland. Northern Ireland voted Remain. More than than that the Tory Government was being propped up by a Northern Irish Party, the DUP.
We are the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Northern Ireland has a certain separation from the rest of the UK socially and economically. It is supposed to have its own Government at Stormont but things are little challenged over that right now. Still, the Westminster Goverment has held back from using its power of ‘direct rule’.
The United Kingdom as a whole is less stable than it used to be with the SNP governing Scotland and Plaid Cymru increasing its influence in Wales. This was no time to put Northern Ireland in a disadvantaged position.
Basically, the negotiations should have stopped right there. The news should have been given, “We know that you voted to Leave, but now we see that it is impossible because of the economic, social and maybe even political damage it would create to Northern Ireland as part of the United Kingdom” and the advisory nature of the referendum as written in the original Bill invoked. End of.
But what happened? Well, Theresa May was faced with a three-way split in her Party and should could not countenace the risk of destroying it. There were the hard-Brexiters who used a lot of vainglory and jingoism (there was talk about us being GREAT Britain - thus entirely negating Northern Ireland) to cover up the fact that they stood to financially gain enormously either through their own investments or the large American corporations who were bank-rolling them. They did not have a shred of interest in Northern Ireland. Then there were the ‘ordinary’ Brexiters who, under the guise of being good democrats, insisted that we ‘deliver Brexit’. The meaning of this was that they did not think they would be re-elected to their seats if they did not. As none of their seats were in Northern Ireland (whose political life revolves around its own Parties) it was not an issue for them either. Last, and probably least, were the Remainers who kept trying to remind everyone that the whole country would suffer if we left the EU (except the elite of wealthy ‘hard-Brexiters’ and their corporate cronies and paymasters, of course).
So May went to Brussels with her ‘red lines’ tying the hands of every one involved in the negotiations and having to try to find some way of not either sending Northern Ireland to the dogs or separating them in principle from the rest of the United Kingdom. Also she had the task of somehow getting around the fact that everyone else in the world, except a large section of the British public, knew that there was no positive side to our leaving the EU. We couldn’t possibly be better off out of it. This was only true of the small group of wealthy hard-Brexiters and the off-shore billionaires who run Britain’s media. They had kept up a relentless and effective campaign of mis- and dis-information concerning our membership of the EU so they could make a killing. This was because they knew that the UK would have to sell its soul and economy to corporate capitalism to stay alive economically once it was ‘left out in the cold’; we can’t compete on our own against India, China, America and the othe emerging countries. Somehow no one is pointing out that we talk of ‘trade deals’ with these countries when they would now be our global competitors and they would not have any reason to do us any favours just because we were GREAT Britain (notice, no mention of Northern Ireland). When we are in the EU, this is not the case. The EU is the largest trading block in the world; it is so big it ‘calls the shots’. Oh, yes, and, of course, they will be another competitor when we leave.
Anyway, all together there was no possibility that a deal that anyone could agree with could be struck; if for no other reason than there was no resolution to the ‘ditching’ of Northern Ireland with which they could possibly agree. All that came out was a ‘back stop’ which meant separating Northern Ireland from the rest of the United Kingdom and they certainly wouldn’t agree to that. As was the case. So we had the various factions in Parliament battling for supremacy and the whole process going nowhere.
We should have never have got to this stage but Party was put before country. And, no, there is no ‘positive side’ to leaving the EU. The much vaunted ‘freedom’ is a entirely fallacious. We already are able to pick and choose which EU laws and mandates we adopt, and we need the European Court of Justice to throttle back our Government when it does something crazy as it has on several occasions. Neither will the ordinary people be in any way better off - just more in the thrall of the wealthy (and getting wealthier) elites.
Footnote: Thanks to Arturo Camillacci for his suggested edits.