This text was written by Pilar Gomez
I Bet You Think This Blog is About You
A chaotic week closes and where are we? A group of MPs have finally released themselves from the straight-jacket of hardening ideology in their respective parties, which has paralysed both the party of government and HM opposition. The parties are so busy circling each other, leaders snarling and growling with their packs baying for a showdown that the business of running the country has been essentially put to one side whilst the Cold War of damaging brexit versus damaging brexit continues at their behest.
The faces of the TIG MPs display a sense of liberation and joy that they can finally consider answers to questions put to them without having to reference the big book of Red or Blue Designated Answers which has weighed on their shoulders for 2 years.
It has been good to behold this sudden discovery of independent thought and I truly hope this is the very early start of something solid and real, a change in the way politicians think about and formulate policy in the interests of the country 1st, 2nd and 3rd without being bound to this juvenile idea of “if you aren’t with us you are against us”.
But we have to be practical. All of that is for later as currently, we are still obstructed from this desirable end by the lack of process to make that happen quickly. In the meantime, we have a more pressing matter and here is a message to Conservative and Labour MPs and their fervent enablers assuming they are rational thinkers. You are all so vain I bet you think this blog is about you and your parties. Hear this. It really isn’t.
It’s not about party, it’s not about binary choices, it’s not about them and you. It’s about Us, our lives our families, our businesses, our jobs, our rights. You failed to listen. In October we came to London from across the UK and the EU27 to tell you why we opposed Brexit and how we want to have a final say. We will come to London again, even more of us this time and we will tell you again.
We are not really that concerned with your parties or your careers in the main, that’s on you to win our respect and trust so we lend you our vote. But here is a huge hint to you all. If you ignore the prospect of the damage that any kind of Brexit presents to the UK (don’t take my word for it, most experts and business and even the government’s own assessment are all agreed on this), it’s not going to go well for your seats. Still, it’s not about you.
It’s about our EU27 friends and family who have been treated like dirt for the last three years. Some parliamentarians have disrespected them in the most obnoxious way and have carried on ignoring the fact that their status is diminished by Brexit overnight.
It is about our friends and family who live in the EU27 who have been facing insecurity and anxiety as their status too is reduced, most having been completely disenfranchised.
It’s about our children and grandchildren. You are enabling those who have themselves benefited personally from freedom of movement and the other benefits of EU membership and citizenship to pull up the ladder behind them and deny those opportunities to future generations.
It’s about our small business community who were able to access the single market and expand and create growth but now will be faced with new barriers to trade which will probably make them uncompetitive.
It’s about the communities who will suffer as large employers move all or some of their operations to the EU27 in order to protect themselves, their shareholders and investors and their bottom line as you erect barriers between them and the biggest trading bloc in the world. The knock on effect of this will be felt in the wider business community which serves the bigger companies. It won’t happen overnight, it will be a slow drawn out decline. The ERG dreams of turning us into a tax haven on the edge of Europe may benefit a few but it won’t add much to our regions except for the further widening of inequality which of course has been a massive factor in getting us to where we are. Incidentally our standards and protections will be the first casualties of the scrabble for trade deals. Your constituents won’t thank you for that either.
It’s about all of us who feel Brexit as a personal assault on the fabric of our identities as we are stripped of an EU citizenship that many of us had no idea just how much we valued but took for granted. We won’t make that mistake again.
It’s about our shame as we hear the experiences of migrants in our communities subjected to a feeling of alienation within their neighbourhoods or workplaces or even the hostility of strangers towards them for daring to speak a foreign language on the train. There are many considering their position, others have already left to another place where they feel more welcome.
It’s about our friends and families on the island of Ireland who are very worried and furious at the lunacy of Westminster and its effect on their business but more importantly the Good Friday Agreement. The uncertainty is toxic, the peace is still young and make no mistake there are elements lurking waiting to take advantage of a hard border in order to further their own agendas and nefarious activities.
So when we are giving you a hard time, when we demand to know the answers to our extremely fair questions like why are you pressing on with Brexit when it is not in the interests of the country, when we tell you our concerns because we are going to lose jobs or split families, its not about you or your party. It’s about us, the people you swear to represent in the best way you can. It’s time for you to find your courage just like the TIG and do the right thing for us and the country and end this brexit shambles. If you cannot revoke article 50 then please find a way to give us the baton and we will decide for you in a final say. We have the courage even if you don’t because it’s about us.