Letter: Could Brexit end up being a waste of time?

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Letter writer John Salter says the UK’s exit from Europe could turn out to be a complete waste of time...

Theresa May has successfully obtained the European Union’s agreement to a draft Brexit deal, a deal so bad for the UK that it has virtually no chance of being approved by Parliament when they vote on it in December.

She keeps saying that “it is the only deal on the table” and that if it is not approved by Parliament then we are “back to square one”, without really clarifying what that actually means.

The deal obtained was either deliberately created to be unacceptable, or is a result of totally inept negotiating skills on our part – or rather her part – as she has been running the show from the start, and the previous secretaries of state for exiting the European Union, namely David Davis and Dominic Raab, were mainly figureheads, and when they realised that they were not calling the shots, resigned.

A Remainer should never have been permitted to control negotiations.

It should be remembered that in the 2016 referendum people voted in favour to “Leave The European Union”.

What does this actually mean in practice?

I would suggest that as we were not in the European Union in 1972, but were in European Union (or the European Economic Community as it was then called) in 1973, people voted for a return to our status as it was in 1972, before we joined.

Obviously a simple free trade deal and continued cooperation in areas such as crime prevention and anti-terrorism in addition would be desirable, but a return to our position as a free nation as we were in 1972 is essentially what we voted for, not this half in half out nonsense.

It is simply astonishing that Theresa May is attempting to gain approval for this deal, which, among other things, does not legally establish the terms of our future relationship with the European Union.

When Parliament kicks out the deal, other than the slim chance that we can gain concessions from the European Union (the European Union have stated repeatedly that this will not happen, but then it would hardly be in their interest to say otherwise) there is only one likely course of action.

This would be for Theresa May to call a so-called “people’s vote”, namely a second referendum.

Despite always saying that this would never happen, she will be enabled to, as either of the other options, namely a 
“no-deal” brexit – which she always said was better than a bad deal – or remaining in the European Union, would be unacceptable to a substantial proportion of the electorate, and it is unlikely that she would undertake either course without the backing of the people in a second vote.

To appease as many as possible, all options would have to be available in the second referendum. Therefore I would anticipate two questions.

The first question would be: Do you support the current proposed Brexit deal?

This is likely to get a resounding “no”. This is because hard Brexiteers will not vote for it, and Remainers will want the second question to be triggered.

The second question will be, in the event of the current proposed Brexit deal being rejected, Should the UK leave the European Union with no deal, or remain in the European Union?

Unfortunately, with what has gone on over the past couple of years, it is probable, though by no means certain, that we will now vote for the latter.

The European Union would bite our hand off if we asked to retract our Article 50 letter, as it would virtually nullify the likelihood of any other member state seeking to leave the European Union ad infinitum.

So the whole exercise would have been complete waste of time and money, and all because David Cameron was scared of losing a General Election because of the popularity of UKIP at the time.

From John Salter, Market Harborough