Bollocks to Brexit

Jo SwinsonAndrew Marr this morning suggested that ‘bollocks’ is a profanity. It’s no such thing of course. A profanity is blasphemous or obscene language. Bollocks is a word of Middle English origin meaning testicles and is used colloquially as a noun to mean ‘nonsense’, an expletive following a minor accident or misfortune, or an adjective to mean ‘poor quality’ or ‘useless’. If you feel as strongly as many of us do about the disastrous future that Brexit would deliver you might think that bollocks is far too mild.

But that’s as maybe. There’s continuing talk of ‘deliver on the outcome of the referendum’ and references back to what people said then. And yes just about every senior politician did say ‘The people have spoken. We must act accordingly’ or similar. The Lib Dems were very clear and said quite rightly that what the people had indicated was a ‘journey’ viz leaving the EU but had not specified a ‘destination’. Exactly what sort of future did the country want to have? The Lib Dems were clear about that and talked in terms of

  • maintaining the UK’s position in the world;
  • not making people worse off; and
  • protecting the results of the Good Friday agreement.

To some extent Labour was also clear with Jeremy Corbyn’s 6 tests.

Ms May came at it the other way round. She laid down her red lines and went about negotiating a deal which would (might?) work.

The problem is that despite the best efforts (?) of Ms May is doesn’t seem to be possible to ‘have our cake and eat it’ ie leave the EU but continue to be a successful nation. That’s why the Lib Dems say ‘whatever deal you come up with test it with the people’. That means a second referendum in which the people can say ‘yes we meant it, let’s leave the EU’ or they can say that now they understand they’d rather not. Bollocks to Brexit!

Of course there’s another compelling reason why there should be a second referendum. The various elements of the Leave campaign told lies, and so misled the electorate, and broke electoral law. We’d be pretty contemptuous of other countries who did that. We should hold ourselves to the same high standard.

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