Monday, November 07, 2016

The stupidity of "Soft Brexit"

One of the characteristics of the EU referendum was the "we can have our cake and eat it" promises from the Leave campaign. That we would be able to get all the benefits of being in the EU while avoiding the obligations and responsibilities that go with those benefits.

Post-referendum, the notion of Soft Brexit follows the same illogical path. Having your cake and being able to eat it has returned.

Essentially, what I'm referring to as a Soft Brexit is any deal that retains Britain's access to the European single market.

This appears to be Nick Clegg's stance, at any rate.

And we just had Jeremy Corbyn demand guarantees that we be kept in the single market before agreeing to support the government.

(Which is utter nonsense. You don't get guarantees, period. You can't require a British PM to guarantee something that only the EU negotiators have the power to do.)

It's pretty clear that the consequences of any Soft Brexit option would be that we would have to accept free movement of labour, and most likely accept that we would have to pay some sort of associate membership charge. The result of this is that we would have no real change compared to the current state, but would have no say in how the EU is run, no say in the condition it imposes us, or any mechanism (like our current veto) to prevent the EU from making decisions that run counter to our interests.

Far from being able to have our cake and eat it, Soft Brexit would result in us having less control of our own affairs thane we do as members of the EU. Pretty much any of the desired aims of those in the Leave camp would be better met by remaining in the EU than by taking the half-in and half-out approach of a Soft Brexit.

No comments: