Letter to Theresa May

Dear Mrs May,

I heard you were in Scotland today trying to “sell” your Brexit deal to members of the public. I’m not in Scotland just now myself so I thought I would write down my thoughts instead.

First of all it seems pretty pointless talking to people about the deal since you’ve already made it clear that we’re not going to get any say on it. Why bother engaging in discussion if you’ve already decided you’re going to push ahead regardless?

Secondly, no, I will not “get behind” your deal. It’s clearly far inferior to remaining in the EU and today’s economic forecasts provide yet more evidence of that (as if any more were needed). In particular, I won’t support anything that removes rights from me and my family against our will. You go on about “ending free movement once and for all” as if that was something to be celebrated, but you can’t expect intelligent and well informed people to revel in having their rights stripped away, especially not when you’ve spent the last two years systematically alienating them almost every time you open your mouth.

You’re right about one thing: your deal is better than no deal, but that’s like saying being booted in the genitals is better than being shot in the head. I’d rather not have either, thanks.

I don’t even believe that you yourself think this is a good deal. When asked whether you think it will be good for Britain, you respond with weasel words like “I believe our best days are ahead of us”. Well, frankly that could mean anything. Maybe it means you believe our best days will be in twenty years time after we’ve put this shambles behind us and rejoined the EU. Maybe you believe they’ll be in 1000 years time when we all live in a Star Trek-style utopia where no-one has to work anymore. But I don’t think those are the words you would choose if you genuinely believed this deal was in our best interests. I think you can’t quite bring yourself to say those words.

It’s the dishonesty that really gets me about the whole Brexit process. Whatever else you might be, Mrs May, I don’t think you’re stupid, or ignorant of the political realities. You know full well, as does everyone who’s been paying attention, that the referendum victory for Leave is on very shaky ground indeed. Leave only just scraped a majority even with Brexiters promising the earth. Do you think there is even the slightest chance it would have won if the campaign had been fought honestly? If Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage had said “Vote Leave! It’ll either be utter chaos with grounded flights and food and medicine shortages, or it’ll be a deal that leaves us having to comply with EU rules without any say over them, and we’ll be far worse off either way”? Of course it wouldn’t, and you know it, but like most other politicians you’re scared to say it, preferring to keep on pretending for as long as possible that the fantasies might yet come true.

Maybe you feel you can’t challenge the result or call another referendum because it would make millions of Leave voters feel betrayed. Well, OK, but how do you think they’re going to feel when they discover that Brexit is nothing whatsoever like what they were sold, that the problems that made them feel so discontented in the first place have only got worse? The truth is there’s no way out of this situation now that doesn’t make a substantial number of people feel betrayed, because they already HAVE been betrayed, by the motley collection of far right idealogues and chancers who told them Brexit was the answer to their problems. And they’re going to find out sooner or later. Reality can’t be avoided forever, so you can either risk alerting Leavers to the betrayal that’s already happened, or you can betray the entire country further. Those are the only choices left.

So, in summary: the only thing I’ll be “getting behind” is whatever movement emerges to reverse this idiocy, whether that’s via Scottish independence (which until Brexit I never thought I would support) or via one of the Westminster parties returning to sanity.

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