Brexit: boy have the facts changed!


From: Hugh Ball

Willingdon Park Drive

I have to defend Stephen Lloyd against Michael Harris’s cynical comments in last week’s Herald.

If I recall aright, he made his promise to support the negotiated Brexit deal over two years ago when the likely outcome of the parliamentary vote was far from clear.

So I don’t think you can accuse him of using knowledge of its likely defeat in voting for the deal.

Of course, this doesn’t make his decision right.

As the economist John Maynard Keynes famously said ‘When the facts change, I change my mind.’

And, boy, have they changed.

Mrs May’s Brexit deal is about as far from the sunlit uplands promised by the leave campaign as it is possible to be.

Rather than the envisaged strong Britain taking back control and storming the world with trade deals, we are faced with a world in which we will be a rule-taker rather than a rule-maker, where the European court of Justice will continue to adjudicate on any disputes between the UK and the EU and where, as even the most hardened Brexiter now admits, we shall be considerably poorer as a country than we would be if we remained an EU member.

To some, of course, the latter is a price worth paying to get us out of the EU.

For me that is not the case.

We are already suffering from the declining pound and the fact that so many companies are putting off investment decisions, which will have negative consequences down the years.

However, for me it is about more than that.

I had occasion some months ago to question Mr Harris’s claim in The Herald that we should be getting out of the EU because of Germany’s role in the wars.

For me, it is precisely because of those wars that I see the EU as a strong bulwark of peace in an increasingly dangerous world.

And hence I feel we should remain fully engaged with it and we can best do that by remaining a member.

So Stephen Lloyd – the facts have changed and you should change your mind.

Vote against Mrs May’s plan and support the campaign for a People’s Vote on Mrs May’s Brexit deal.