Rutherglen Reformer article – st October 2017 – by Councillor Robert Brown
It is astonishing that,15 months after the European referendum, no one knows the policy of either the Conservative government or the Labour Opposition on Brexit.
Yes, they both want to leave the European Union – and both refuse to let us have a vote on the Brexit terms. Otherwise it’s just the blank piece of paper which David Davis took to the negotiations.
Whether Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn want to stay in the Single Market and the Customs Union or not remains a mystery, along with pretty much everything else about the post-Brexit situation.
The squabbles between Theresa May and her uninspiring colleagues is a daily soap opera while the EU negotiators try to decipher the British Government’s position. So far there is no sign of a single advantage to Brexit – it’s all about limiting the damage!
Meanwhile the Labour leadership were so concerned about taking a position that they refused to allow a vote on Brexit at the recent Labour Conference.
Frankly it’s not good enough. Over the summer Rutherglen and Cambuslang holidaymakers have seen the value of their pound plummet by a quarter. Now the magic deal with the UK eagerly awaited by the USA and the world’s other big economies was demolished by the Bombardier fiasco – with 4,000 jobs in Belfast threatened by American protectionist duties of 220%.
Meantime a major think tank has shown that the Glasgow area was amongst the 50 worst hit areas regardless of a soft or hard Brexit. However you look at it, leaving Europe is a slow motion crash, damaging to jobs, businesses, living standards and public revenues.
The time is coming when the public will demand a rethink on Brexit. People in our area and across the country did not vote in the referendum to make themselves poorer, to destroy our economy and the prosperity of our cities.
The new Liberal Democrat leader, Vince Cable, is the only Party leader to offer a way out – a public vote on the terms of Brexit once they are negotiated.
An exit from Brexit – an option to change our minds – should lie with the public.