Near constant bemoaning of the referendum result, calls for the British people to ‘rise up’, and branding the vote an ‘historic mistake’. Blair, Major and Osborne are yesterday’s men, says Rory Broomfield.
First there was Tony Blair, then there was Sir John Major. These former Prime Ministers, along with others, cannot seem to grasp the decision made on June 23rd 2016 and, in their efforts to denigrate the decision made and the policy set up as a result, they have exposed the mistakes of the past that helped lead to the referendum result.
The main three reasons to vote Leave, according to an Ashcroft survey published the day after the vote, were a desire for “decisions about the UK should be taken in the UK”, a view that “voting leave offered the best chance for the UK to regain control over immigration and its own borders” and that “remaining [in the EU] meant little or no choice about how the EU expanded its membership or powers”. All these reasons were created by the policies of the past – policies that these politicians supported.
For Tony Blair to ask the British people to “rise up” against Brexit means, in effect, a desire to rise up to support his failed policies. For Sir John to describe the result of the vote as “an historic mistake”, is a call for the British people to change their minds and endorse his policies that gave away so much control – democratic and otherwise – to Brussels.
Instead, with their backing of Maastricht, open door immigration with the EU and / or endorsement of the Lisbon Treaty – not to mention the ERM and the Euro – the policies they previously championed mean that they are on the wrong side of history.
But what about George Osborne? The day after Sir John branded leavers as delusional, the former Chancellor of the Exchequer gave a speech to the British Chambers of Commerce where he argued that our “withdrawing from the single market will be the single biggest act of protectionism in the history of the United Kingdom”. As pointed out Shanker Sigham, Osborne is perpetuating Brexit myths as there is a big difference between being a member of and having access to it.
Unfortunately, though, like Sir John and others, Osborne is also rehashing the debates we had during the referendum. Indeed, in the referendum he even made it clear that a vote to Leave was a vote to quit the Single Market. Well, the majority of voters stated their preference – and it now looks like we’ll be leaving the EU’s Single Market.
And by leaving the EU Single Market, the Government’s policy is forward looking. Instead of being consigned to the idea that we must remain members of a harmonising regional regulatory unit – which is essentially what the EU’s Single Market is – leaving gives the UK the freedom to adopt an ultra-competitive global approach to business whilst taking control over its legal and democratic processes which have, over the past 40 plus years, been given away to the EU.
As I mentioned in my previous article last week, Brexit gives us the opportunities to lead the world in economic, political and personal freedom.
In Brexit, we have the opportunity to embrace the future and confine failed thinking to the past. Let’s ignore yesterday’s men.