BREXIT: A DOZEN KEY THINGS WE DIDN’T KNOW BACK IN 2016.

 
01
BREXIT WILL HELP BRITAIN’S
BIGGEST ADVERSARY.
  • Britain’s major international political and military adversary, Russia’s president Putin, has made it very clear that he supports Brexit. 

  • The reason is that he wants to weaken our continent by undermining the EU – because he sees it as an economic and political obstacle to Russia’s wish to economically and culturally recreate the equivalent of the  Soviet Union and expand Russia’s sphere of international control and influence. 

 

Do we really want to help him do that?

02
BREXIT WILL ALLOW US PRESIDENT TRUMP
TO ERODE BRITAIN’S SOVEREIGNTY.
  • Trump knows he has Britain over a barrel. He knows that a post-Brexit UK will be desperate to secure a trade deal with America. But, it won’t be for free. 

  • He will want giant US corporations to have automatic access to every conceivable corner of our economy – including the NHS. 

  • He will insist on terms which exempt US corporations from many UK laws, thus, in reality, scrapping British sovereignty in areas like tax, environment, food quality, etc. 

 

Do we really want to help him do that?

03
BREXIT THREATENS TO
BREAK UP OUR COUNTRY.
  • In the referendum of 2016, Brexit only got majority backing in England and Wales. Scotland and Northern Ireland voted strongly against it. 

  • According to the recent opinion polls, in the event of a ‘no deal’ Brexit, there would be majority support in Scotland for independence – and in Northern Ireland for reunification with the Irish Republic. However, most forms of Brexit, especially the harder varieties, will substantially increase the chances of Scotland and Northern Ireland, at some stage, leaving the UK, even if a 'no deal' scenario is averted.

  • If Scotland and Northern Ireland were to split from England and Wales, that would obviously be the end of the United Kingdom. 

 

Do we really want to help that happen?

04
BREXIT WILL LOSE RATHER THAN
GAIN OUR COUNTRY INFLUENCE
AROUND THE WORLD.
  • First of all, we will automatically lose our veto inside the EU. 

  • Secondly we will lose much of our ability to influence all the major countries in Europe. 

  • Thirdly, because our economy is almost 7 times smaller than the rest of the EU, many major countries worldwide will tend to do what the EU wants rather than what we want, if our wishes clash.

  • Fourthly, the USA has traditionally seen the UK as it’s the link to Europe. The US will now look for a new link – and our influence with America will correspondingly reduce. 

  • Lastly, our place on the United Nations Security Council will no doubt be challenged – and would certainly be at real risk if the UK broke up. 

 

Do we really want to reduce our country's influence around the world?

05
ANY FORM OF BREXIT WILL
DAMAGE THE UK ECONOMY – 
BUT A 'NO DEAL' OR RELATIVELY
HARD DEAL EXIT FROM THE EU
WILL DAMAGE IT CATASTROPHICALLY.
  • The majority of economists believe that most forms of Brexit will adversely affect the British economy in the medium and long-term. 

  • Academic research carried since the referendum estimates that the UK will experience a decline in GDP of 1.2–4.5% - and will cost most British citizens 1–10% in income terms. These estimates differ depending on whether the UK does a harder or softer Brexit. 

  • In January 2018, the UK government's own Brexit analysis showed that UK economic growth would slow down by 2–8% for at least 15 years following Brexit, depending on the type of departure.

  • The harm that 'no deal' would do is  acknowledged by many senior Brexiteers as well as remainers:

  • A bank of England report to Parliament forecast that, in the event of a no deal Brexit, unemployment will double, that inflation will rise to 6.7% and that Britain's GDP will plummet by up to 8%.

  • Further falls in the value of the pound will almost certainly occur, triggering price increases in Britain's shops. 

  • The purchasing power of people's wages is likely to fall, irrespective of what sort of Brexit occurs

  • Likewise, many welfare payments will lose their real value.

  • As GDP reduces, the crucial 'public debt to GDP ratio' will rise above its current already high 87% level (already almost double the Northern European average). 

  • Many members of the public simply don't believe all these disturbing forecasts - because some sections of the media has falsely suggested that the 2016 referendum result has done no harm to the U.K.'s economy (and that warnings at the time were all propaganda). Sadly, the truth is very different. Since the referendum, the major US financial services corporation, S&P, calculates that the mere threat of Brexit has cost the UK more than £66 billion. What's more, the pound has fallen 17% against the dollar (over recent months it's been the lowest for 35 years). According to the giant US investment bank Goldman Sachs, UK economic growth has also massively slowed down to the tune of £600 million per week since the referendum (the Bank of England has calculated that the figure is even higher – £800 million per week). What's more, as the Brexit situation has deteriorated, overseas companies have reduced their investment in the UK by 83% (comparing the 18 months ending late March 2019 to the previous 18 month period)

 

Do we really want to be poorer?

06
BREXIT WILL SERIOUSLY
DAMAGE THE NHS.
  • Britain does not have sufficient doctors and nurses to staff the NHS (and it would take many many years to even try to recruit and train them). We therefore depend on recruiting key staff from other countries – especially the EU. At present there are 160,000 continental EU nationals working in the NHS – and, as they leave, they will need to be replaced. Brexit will make that much much harder – and will very substantially worsen the NHS’s staff shortage problems (for instance, there are currently over 40,000 unfilled nursing vacancies). 

  • What’s more, a ‘no deal’ Brexit would mean that vital new life-saving treatments available in continental Europe will not immediately be available here. ‘No deal’ would also almost certainly create dangerous life-threatening shortages of some key medicines etc. 

  • Most forms of Brexit will also lead to key international research work and clinical trials moving from the UK to the continent, with life-threatening consequences for many patients in Britain.

  • Brexit will make us economically more vulnerable and will therefore force us to conclude an un-equal trade deal with the US, which will almost certainly give American pharmaceutical companies the whip hand in determining key aspects of our National Health Service's future.

 

Do we really want to seriously damage our NHS?

07
BREXIT WILL TRAGICALLY
ACCELERATE
GLOBAL WARMING.
  • Brexit will undermine the EU’s global efforts to combat climate change – by changing the balance of power within the EU in a much less anti-global-warming direction.

  • That in turn will undermine the EU’s ability to counter US and other countries less progressive position.

  • What’s more, Brexit will also make it much less likely that Britain will be able to genuinely fight climate change domestically or internationally, because our economy will be weakened at a crucial time – and our willingness to meaningfully pressure other countries will be compromised by our post-Brexit desperation to do trade deals with high carbon emission countries. The UK government has already had talks with US institutions which are against international efforts to prevent further global warming. 

  • Certainly, the UK will come under immense US pressure to scrap many of our domestic UK anti-emissions laws. Harmful environmental deregulation is likely to become a feature of post-Brexit Britain. 

 

Do we really want to help climate-change-deniers destroy our children's future?

08
BREXIT THREATENS EUROPEAN
STABILITY AND PEACE.
  • Along with NATO, the EU (and its predecessor organisations) have kept Europe relatively stable and peaceful ever since the aftermath of the Second World War. 

  • Over the past 500 years, the past three quarters of a century has been one of the longest periods of relative peace ever enjoyed by our continent. But Brexit is likely to undermine the long-term prospects of that stability continuing. 

  • Britain is one of the EU’s three biggest players. Its departure will not only significantly weaken our continent – but could generate changes in the power balance within Europe which could eventually further damage it. 

  • An expansionist Russia would then be tempted to take even greater risks in Eastern Europe, following its illegal yet successful military seizure of territories in Ukraine, just beyond the eastern border of the EU.

  • Russia is already supporting and helping to fund extremist organisations throughout our continent.

  • What’s more, Russia is now deliberately stirring up problems for all Europeans by encouraging extremists bent on breaking up the least stable country on our continent – Bosnia-Herzegovina (most of whose borders are with the EU). 

  • Pro-Russian nationalists within part of the EU are already busy fermenting ethnic separatism in part of one EU member state, Romania.

 

Do we really want to help encourage instability and an end to peace on our continent?

09
BREXIT WILL SUBSTANTIALLY
INCREASE THE CHANCES
OF RENEWED CONFLICT
IN NORTHERN IRELAND.
  • The 1998 Good Friday agreement ended 40 years of Northern Ireland related terrorism in Northern Ireland and elsewhere in the UK. In those four decades more than 3500 people lost their lives and a further 47,000 were injured. Part of the Good Friday agreement was about having a completely open border with the Republic of Ireland. That was made possible because the UK and the Republic were both part of the EU (and therefore part of the single market and the customs union).

  • If we leave the EU (and the Customs Union), the Northern Ireland/Republic border may no longer be completely open. Despite the Good Friday agreement, there are still sadly some small dissident terrorist groups which have never approved of or accepted that agreement. Reinstating any form of real border (even if it is not a physical border - or even if there is just a threat of a border being imposed in the future) will almost certainly help those terrorist groups to grow and potentially become more active. 

  • UK military countermeasures could then simply play into their hands and help them grow further. A former head of MI5 and two former Northern Ireland police chiefs have recently warned of the serious dangers that Brexit poses to peace in Northern Ireland. 

 

Do we really want to help endanger that peace?

10
BREXIT WILL NOT
DECREASE IMMIGRATION.
  • The UK has 32.66 million workers, 3.56 million of whom are from overseas. At any stage there are also well over 0.8 million unfilled job vacancies in the UK. The tourism industry, the NHS, horticulture, retail, restaurants, business, construction and the freight industry all depend to a substantial extent on overseas labour. 

  • Leaving the EU will not alter that fact – so (unless those very major industries are all to ultimately face crippling staff shortages), immigration will need to continue. Otherwise Britain’s economy and the public at large would certainly suffer. Immigrants are here because our economy needs them. 

  • People who hoped that Brexit would reduce immigration are therefore likely to be disappointed. The only thing that would reduce it would be a severe recession in the UK – and presumably not even the Brexit Party wants that. 

  • Challenged over whether post-Brexit immigration would go down, Boris Johnson recently refused to clarify, saying instead that he was “not going to get into some numbers game”.

  • But although Brexit won’t reduce immigration, the mere concept of Brexit has over recent years helped to generate very large numbers of hate crimes in the UK. Brexit is bad for Britain – and bad for our country’s social cohesion. 

 

Do we really want to see Brexit generate more racism and social disharmony?

11
BREXIT WILL REDUCE BRITAIN'S
ABILITY TO FIGHT CRIME.
  • Up till now, the UK has been able to use European Arrest Warrants, European Investigation Orders, Europol (the EU agency for law enforcement cooperation), the Schengen Information System (The EU's security, border control and law enforcement database), the EU financial intelligence unit, Eurojust (The EU agency coordinating the investigation of organised crime) and the European Criminal Records Information System. 

  • All or many of those facilities will cease to be available to us, if the UK and the EU part company with out a proper agreement - i.e. without a deal or without an adequate deal.

  • Using all those organisations and mechanisms, the UK's police forces' have been able to arrest 12,000 major criminals over the past 10 years, arrange the extradition from continental Europe to the UK of over 7000 suspects, investigate thousands of crimes, share hundreds of thousands of pieces of evidence – and prosecute large numbers of criminals.

  • However, if we leave the EU without an adequate deal, there is likely to be a substantial period in which the UK is not able to use many of those mechanisms and participate in many of those organisations. 

  • Even if some form of participation is eventually restored, it will almost certainly not be at the same level and speed of access that the UK has enjoyed as a full member of the EU up till now. 

  • The severing of full law enforcement cooperation between the UK and continental Europe will seriously degrade the U.K.'s ability to reduce crime, maintain border controls and combat terrorism. 

 

Do we really want Brexit to make Britain a less safe place to live in?

12
IN THE RUN-UP
TO THE JUNE 2016 REFERENDUM,
VOTERS WERE SOLD A PUP.
  • Leave campaigners told the public that Britain would get a superb deal from the EU. One key Vote Leave figurehead, Boris Johnson, even told Parliament's Treasury Select Committee that it wouldn't "be very hard" to "do a free trade deal" with the EU "very rapidly indeed". Another prominent member of Vote Leave's campaign committee, Dominic Raab, said "the idea that Britain would be apocalyptically off the cliff edge, if we left the EU, is silly". "Mutual self interest suggests we'd cut a very good deal". 

  • Leave campaigners also claimed that Britain must 'take back control' – because they falsely claimed that the UK was constantly being overruled by other EU countries. The truth was very different. Over the past 20 years, the UK has only been defeated in a legislative vote at the European Council on 57 out of 2474 occasions (that's just 2.3% of the time!). What's more, at the all-important EU Council of Ministers, the UK has the right to veto any foreign affairs, taxation, justice and EU budget proposals it doesn't like. It can also combine with as few as three other countries to successfully block other measures. 
  • Vote Leave's 'take back control' mantra also involved trying to fool voters that millions of Turks were about to migrate to the UK. They even produced a notorious poster with the slogan "Turkey, population 76 million, is joining the EU. Vote leave – take back control". The pro-Brexit media then claimed that "12 million Turks say they'll come to [the] UK". 

  • The truth was very different.Turkey was definitely not joining the EU - and the media claim was simply untrue. Indeed, a full two years before the referendum, the EU leadership had ruled out giving EU membership to Turkey. Then in March 2016, the Turkish government totally precluded itself from EU membership by violating EU admission criteria - by announcing that 'democracy' and 'freedom' were words which had "absolutely no value in Turkey".

 

Do we really want our future to be determined by fibs and fake news?

IN CONCLUSION

Even now, as you read this pamphlet, leading Brexiteers are knowingly misleading the public by encouraging them to imagine that 'getting Brexit done' will at least 'get it all over with'. Sadly, nothing could be further from the truth.

A 'no deal' (or, in many cases, any other form of hard Brexit) will simply be the beginning of years of acrimony over the UK/EU divorce settlement, potentially bitter UK/EU trade deal negotiations, tensions over our relationships with our continental neighbours, potentially violent clashes over contested views on rights at sea, trauma in Anglo-Scottish relations, potential resurgent terrorism in Northern Ireland, etc etc.  

Brexit won't be the end – just the beginning of a new and even more frustratingly bitter phase of the Brexit process which will dominate people's lives and damage their livelihoods, living standards and futures for many years.

Understandable public desperation to 'get it all over with' will tragically simply prolong the agony for years to come.