Let’s imagine two and a half years ago you had taken an interest in moving to a new house. Soundly and sensibly you got a survey done. The survey showed up that the house was not worth the asking price. Further inquiry showed that the original details were wrong and that the vendor had been less than honest. Even with all your doubts, the vendor and his agents applied pressure to get you to sign-up. The deal on the table was not a good one and the price is going up daily. Would you carry on regardless or would you stop and say: no thank you, I’m better off where I am?
That’s where we are with Brexit. Two and a half years of agonising debate and investigation but finally a decision must be made. The world looks quite different from that of two and a half years ago. People have come and gone. The world is that much more unstable, but the big problems, like climate change and poverty remain.
So, why is changing minds so difficult? I guess, it’s a human characteristic that none of us like to lose face. Stepping back and admitting that; maybe we were wrong two and a half years ago is never going to be easy. Our media is not helping. Write-ups that say there’s a 50-50 chance that Brexit may be stopped are phrased in negative terms. The reality is that for a huge part of the population that outcome would be entirely positive.
Prime Minister May’s deal does deliver an orderly termination of European Union membership but a noisy cabal of those who supported the “Leave” vote in 2016 do not accept this fact. It’s certain that they never will. On the one hand there’s the fact of leaving and on the other there’s a set of political slogans, images and rituals that some have attached to the whole process.
We now have a much worse division of opinion than we did the day after the referendum. Two political blocks who continue to promote “Leave” (and “Brexit”) disagree venously. Yet, bigger than either of these two blocks are those who continue to support a different option. I believe it’s impossible to resolve this political grid lock in less than 90 days.
A Country that can change its mind is a brave and courageous place. It has wisdom. The ability to consider, reflect and change is an admirable characteristic. It’s the action of a mature and strong liberal democracy. We have one of the worlds largest economic bloc on our doorstep. Our history is a European history. The cultural ties are deep.
At the time of the year when we look back but also look forward, we can say; I’d like to change for the better and rebuild. I’d like to make the most of our European Union membership. I’d like to be at the heart of Europe. Let’s vote.