Country will remain divided

At last we've heard what Theresa May means by Brexit.

Monday, 16th July 2018, 9:00 am

The ‘clear red lines’ seem to be products of ignorance, arrogance or incompetence. They are now just forms of words to hold her cabinet and party together, mere blurry blue lines.

Beyond Chequers, we already knew much of what Brexit meant; an average cost of £900 per household, lost growth and investment, lost tax revenue, lost world status and a lost opportunity to develop the EU.

With Trump’s ever clearer attack on multilateral organisations, perhaps that opportunity has gone for years to come – and he won’t be riding to the UK’s rescue.

Brexit does not yet mean an efficient, useful and humane immigration policy, nor fairer wages, nor more secure jobs, nor decentralisation from London, nor less major tax avoidance, nor control of misbehaving multinationals, nor an end to austerity and rejuvenation of our public services, nor cleaner politicians and media, nor more influence for the public, nor reform of our political system, nor a better economic system, nor a national pride in a vision for the future rather than a jingoistic hankering after an often iffy past.

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Our Brexit leaders may not have wanted those things, but many Leave voters did. Their vote was a justified, if often misdirected, scream.

Thirty million didn’t vote Leave, but 17 million did.

If we stop Brexit without addressing the above points urgently and convincingly, the country will remain bitterly divided, on a steepening downward slope.

Peter Watts