Monday, 14 August 2017


That’s a much better acronym than the worn-out Brexit acrostic, isn’t it?
I have read so much nonsense about ‘Britain Leaving the European Union’ that I thought it was time to put the world’s thoughts in order.  I will confine myself to the classic five-point system.
One.  Nobody knows anything.
Two.  Nothing has happened.
Three.  This is not democracy.
Four.  Loudness is not thought.
Five.  The devil is in the detail. 

To expand:
  1. Nobody knows anything about what is going to happen when, after a protracted process of definition, drafting and deliberation an Act of Parliament representing Britain’s departure from the EU is presented for the Royal Assent.  Not just because whoever turns out to be monarch by then might just say ‘no’, but because nobody has a clue what it will actually say.
  2. Following from that, so far nothing’s actually happened.  The debate, if that’s a word any more, is almost entirely about the story of the last 15-odd months of speculation, reaction and counter-reaction, not to mention global economic and political forces compared to which BLEU is a minor ripple.  All fur coat and no knickers. 
  3. Democracy means ‘rule by the people’.  Referenda are not a sensible means of achieving this where the population exceeds a few hundred.  In the present case, the canard that ‘the people have spoken' needs to be critically analysed and clinically destroyed by facts and logic.  For a start, only 37% of the electorate voted to leave.
  4. I often dip in to internet sites that support BLEU, and I’m dismayed not just by the lack of fact and focus, nor even by the outright blatant lies, but by the overwhelming volume of vitriol and personal abuse.  I counter this whenever it’s directed at me, of course (don’t ever enter into a slanging match with me, anyone, because I will win!).  But I am shocked by the amount of unnecessary sheer nastiness.  I thought this was a nice country.
  5. I’m getting a bit tired now, so I don’t want to go into the details of what this will do to everyone in this country’s personal day-to-day lives.  Two words cover most of it, actually – health, and safety.


  1. 37% voted to leave, but this doesn't imply that 63% voted to stay. I agree: we know practically nothing - and two years is a long time. The abuse should be dropped in favour of a national book on what the outcome will be. I bet that surprisingly little will really change. Basically your five points sum it all up admirably!

  2. Well, the 28% who didn't vote obviously didn't want to leave, otherwise they'd have said so!
    I don't agree that two years is a long time - trade agreements are hellishly complicated, and there's a huge risk of us ending with no agreements at all (which sometimes seems to be what our government and many commenters hope for).

  3. Since 25 June last year I’ve been making the 37% point to anyone who cared to listen (not many initially, but hardly surprising that more are looking for a way out of this lunacy now reality is starting to bite). Those who didn’t vote evidently didn’t want to shake up the status quo – they certainly didn’t feel strongly enough to get off their backsides. It seems their choice was based on either being too confused by the prospects of BLEU to risk voting for it, or complacency. So when media spout that the nation has decided for BLEU I do wish they would accurately report that just over a third of the nation has decided for BLEU. It’s not black or white.

    1. Yep. Also, of course, nobody in the public media seems (yet) to be stating the obvious: it doesn't have to happen! Referenda have no force in law, and this one was, explicitly in the enabling legislation, purely advisory. It was an opinion poll.
      Oh gawd, I keep saying this obvious stuff over and over, everywhere I can, especially on pro-BLEU websites. They never respond, because they have no facts or logic with which to do so. (Plus the fact that many of them seem to have only a tenuous grasp of the English language - which is a tad ironic, innit?)

  4. Two years has been reduced by a change of prime minister, which took the summer of last year, and a general election. And last autumn was taken up by the prime minister refusing to discuss the matter. There seems to be a considerable likelihood that all EU legislation and practice will simply be taken over, we'll still pay in, receive less in return, have no say in any decisions, we'll be desperate to attract workers from Europe where we have shortages in our workforce, and our borders will remain entirely open via Ireland in any case. So those who voted for BLEU because they're racist, xenophobic, believe that it's corrupt, badly run, or simply want out, won't be happy and those who didn't want to leave won't be either.