I’d like to congratulate you on winning the EU referendum. Yes, even though I am pretty passionate about staying in the EU I feel it’s time to openly accept that you won. You are, without any doubt, the champions of the campaign. Us remoaners (and as the victors you surely have the right to name us, your defeated foes, as you see fit) are beaten at the ballot box, viciously pummelled by the vox populi, vanquished by the voters, ejected by the electorate, sent packing by the populace and left lagging by the leavers.
You’ve done well. All glory is yours, and accolades are due…to all seventeen million, four hundred and ten thousand, seven hundred and forty-two of you.
Well, except those who voted for that silly £350m/week to the NHS. We now know that the NHS is going to struggle with both cuts and migrant staff leaving the UK. But there probably weren’t many people who voted just on the basis of the NHS “promise’, and it does mean that the rest of you are the recipients of more glory per person.
But…on the subject of migrants, it is rather looking that immigration into the UK isn’t going to lessen. That was pretty much always the case, because we need economically active migrants joining us to pay taxes and support our own, ageing, population. As the Leave campaign was, we were told, not about racism, xenophobia or immigration then, again, that won’t exclude many of your voters, so let’s just forget about them.
I believe some of you, a handful, were keen to leave so that we could leave behind EU rules and red-tape. It’s good that they were so few in number, because if we want to keep selling into the EU (our single biggest export market) then we’ll still have to obey all of those pesky rules and regulations. That’s not your fault, of course, it’s just how trade works – you can only sell what the buyers are willing to buy. We are giving up our say in the creation of those regulations, but with freer trade with the rest of the world on the horizon maybe we won’t need to keep obeying the hated EU for much longer.
Except, of course, that Germany (to pick an example) already trades much more, per capita, with the rest of the world than we do. It’s therefore possible – just possible, mind – that the EU hasn’t been the barrier between us and those eager overseas markets. Frankly though, if you vote in a referendum based on something as nebulous as freer trade then you’re a bit of an anorak, and nobody wants to share glory with that sort of person, am I right?
That reminds me, what about human rights? I think a few people, probably Express readers, voted to leave the EU so that we could finally free ourselves of the ridiculous human rights laws that bully Christians, but let Muslim terrorists get off scot-free. Not that the European Union is anything to do with the European Court of Human Rights, of course, and I doubt many people confused them just because they both contain the word ‘European’.
And don’t even get me started on that guff about making our parliament sovereign. As you all know our parliament has always been sovereign, so that ‘take back control’ bit was just high-spirited nonsense.
I suppose a few other things won’t change either; bananas will continue to come in a range of shapes and sizes, the Express will still whinge that everybody gets a fairer deal than the white British-born Christian, the Daily Mail will still whinge about…well, about everything, there’ll still be no logical reason to move back to pounds and ounces, terrorists will still terrorise, cyclists will still jump red lights, the BBC won’t bring back Clarkson, it’ll still rain all weekend and be glorious sunshine when you’re in the office, the British Empire won’t resurface from under the waves, inflation won’t stop, house prices won’t become reasonable, there’ll still never be anything good on telly on a Saturday night.
I don’t say this to diminish your victory. As many of you are keen to point out, you won, the referendum is over and it’s time to move on. There should still be a trophy for your winning, even if it’s a hollow one.
I’d like to propose a no-expense-spared prize for you all. The government should put its hand in its pocket and put a pint behind the bar for every Leave voter. There should be a public holiday. The Red Arrows should fly the length of the country. Every city in the UK should have a Brexit parade. Fleet upon fleet of open-topped busses driving those of you who voted Leave through the streets, through a pea-souper of ticker-tape. Every TV station showing a Best of British day, every radio station blasting out the best of British music.
It will be the single greatest day the United Kingdom has ever know. It will be our Brexit day. You will be hailed as the victors that you are, and we Leavers should be left pulling the pints, driving the busses, sweeping up the ticker-tape…even if we miss the Red Arrows and everything. It’s not our day to enjoy – we lost.
That will be your day. You won it, it’s your prize to claim. It will never be forgotten. You will be the eternal champions.
But, afterwards, we can forget about the other little bit, right? The bit that isn’t going to fix the NHS, or halt immigration, or cut red-tape, or revitalise trade, or scrap human rights, or make us sovereign, straighten bananas, etc. etc. That stupid little bit, that doesn’t deliver anything useful but will cost us hundreds of billions of pounds. We don’t need that bit, so long as we remember that you won, right?
A swift answer would be appreciated.