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The tectonic political plates of the United Kingdom are shifting and it’s about to cause the most violent vibrations that this island nation has ever experienced. On EU referendum day 2016 we measured the size of the seismic spikes and on that day it was 52% for leave to 48% for remain. But all those who took part know that the result could have been different if the ballots had been cast a week before or after. The fluctuating polls running up to the vote left the losers feeling sickened once the results came in. The leavers celebrated and then they mostly scattered and hid from the responsibility to actually effect the change for which they argued. Within a day of the result, Boris Johnson and Michael Gove had gone from loud to almost mute about the U.K.’s future political direction. Daniel Hannon fled to an extended holiday, Andrea Leadsom flopped in the Tory leadership struggle, and Nigel Farage applied to become German. The main voices of the leave campaign were suddenly as shaky as the ground on which Brexit was built.
The aftermath has been shocking for all of us who live in Great Britain. We lost 20% on the value of sterling almost immediately. We have seen precious foreign employees who work in our critical public services start a mass exodus. Food on the supermarket shelves have steadily increased in price and shrunk in size, yet we haven’t actually left the EU yet. The actual damage, post-Brexit, is likely to be much worse than what we are currently seeing. The negotiations have begun and it is plainly obvious that the lack of a plan for the future of the United Kingdom is causing the foundations of Brexit to collapse.
The UK’s population is shaking and there is no sign of stability in the near future or beyond. You cannot cause this much instability and not expect there to be serious damage. Change is approaching and it may not be what anyone voted for. The large financial giants in Asia have started to purchase properties in Britain because of our discount pound. One Hong Kong-based financial company has purchased the Walkie Talkie building in central London for £1.3 billion, leaking future profit from that iconic London tower building back to their international investors. Money leaving the United Kingdom is something we were warned of during the campaigns but a winning tagline was ready to destroy the rational minds by screaming the term “Project Fear.”.=
Now the political process is in action as the PM of mayhem has already triggered article 50 and then gambled all our futures on a snap general election. The gamble failed and now we are without a plan and at the negotiating table looking like a shambles. The process will continue and eventually we will have to have another democratic vote on whether we are willing to accept the end result. That is how democracy works. The democratic vote may be in the form of another referendum, or maybe under the guise of another general election; either way, if the process continues to look like a mess, then Brexit will be rolled back. The British people will not accept more poverty after 7 years of unnecessary austerity.
So, to my question. If Brexit is rolled back and we decide to remain, can we expect “Brexit Terrorism”? The reason I have started asking this question is because many of the U.K. news outlets are now using the term “Brexit Extremists” to describe leavers who want Brexit regardless of the eventual damage to our economy. But we were all aware that Brexit would damage our economy to some extent. So is this a divide and conquer strategy being applied by those who are resisting Brexit? To separate the Brexit faithful into groups defined by their determination to leave the EU. I, myself, am a strong remain supporter, but even I could have been persuaded otherwise if it wasn’t for my inherent distrust for the ruling Tory Party. Now I see a change in rhetoric from unexpected places and one of the most worrying words that is being used is ‘extremists.’ Once an extremist acts beyond the law, then they will become terrorists.
So my question comes with, currently hypothetical but not unforeseeable, conditions. If Brexit is rolled back, will the mainstream media start using the term “Brexit Terrorists” to describe those who fight against remaining in the European Union? Are the Hard Brexiteer’s currently one thrown rock away from being enemies of the British state under those specific conditions? I understand the idea of Jacob Rees Mogg or Iain Duncan Smith lobbing a molotov cocktail at police lines is far fetched, but the people who these Brexiteer’s pumped up, with fantastical visions of unobtainable freedoms, are not all posh and well to do folk. The far right, the simply ignorant, the disenfranchised poor, and the everyday citizens of the United Kingdom are also within the Brexit ranks. The political faces of Brexit have to share this process with all who voted on their side, and if we remain they will also have to share responsibility for any violence that occurs.
Now many will note that the tabloid press were very vocal in their support for Brexit, but to trust that they won’t flip their backing at the first sign of trouble is surely a bridge too far. If you are a leaver, then you must come to terms with some of the awful people who shared your opinions, the same as we Remainers have to accept David Cameron and Tony Blair were on our side (gag!). But right now, we’re on course for Brexit and the remainers are not committing acts of violence. Instead, they are following the democratic processes to support or object to our purposed direction.
When we hear the upping of negative rhetoric on the mainstream media, it is usually a sign of the Establishment openly stating its winning hand. As news stories increase which echo the negative effects of Brexit, there will be a demand from the electorate to have their say on the final decision. This will destroy Brexit, as those who were too young to vote last time, the wavering business owners, and the people who are shocked that there was no plan for leaving are likely to reject more financial turmoil. We must look at what we can expect after the great Brexit rollback, and what we do know is there will be a lot of very angry people.
But, at the end of the day, it will always be the lack of a post-Brexit plan that will have scuppered the leavers. We can assume that a large proportion of the anger would be vented inwards towards those who had the opportunity to enact Brexit, but who were then caught under prepared when they won the opportunity to do so. The Brexit rollback may be enough to lose the U.K. Conservative Party any chance of power in the coming decades. It may even lead to the inevitable splitting of the Tories into separate political entities. One can only hope, but it is obvious that the current state of the Tory party is unsustainable and it is only a matter of time and tension before visible rifts appear.
I still feel that the EU referendum had to happen. We can only achieve change by having the debates that have been raging all over the UK. What we can learn from this experience is that we need to debate facts more and not get caught up in fantasy. We need to purge the power of the lie from all political debate.