Brexit Delay – Swaying Those Who Acted on Impulse!

Posted on February 26, 2019

There was a chap on the Nicky Campbell show this morning who filled me with sadness. He did this by saying that because he was thick, he voted to leave the European union. This was because he believed the NHS was going to be saved.

NHS Regret

He was full of regret. Why? Well, because it has dawned on him that it was all a con. There was no NHS bounty and he and his close friends were potentially in financial trouble. With car manufacturers and other industries bailing out of Britain, he could now see the damage unfolding.

It’s easy to look at these people and laugh. It was the way they voted, so let them eat rat stew. However, if this guy can change his mind, it offers a chink of light. After all, the common consensus is that this is a country of Brexiteers who have doubled down.

Rather than thick, this chap was brave to come on national radio and admit he had been mugged off. The question is, is he a rarity, or one of a growing number of folk questioning their own judgement? Are some of those who voted on impulse coming out with their hands up? If they are, parliament needs to listen.

Impulse Versus Pragmatism

Let’s be honest, away from a minority of experts, there were, essentially, two diverse groups of people who voted in the 2016 referendum. There were those who did so on impulse and those who were more pragmatic in nature. Neither group was qualified for such a huge decision, which is why I maintain my disdain for referendums.

It is now apparent that a Brexit with a positive outcome is the stuff of utter fantasy. This means that the pragmatists who went beyond impulse were correct in their conservative approach. To act on impulse with regards to such a huge and complex issue was always going to be littered with trouble.

Many of us learn over the years that acting on impulse can lead to us making bad decisions. I have done it in business, when buying car and in a relationship, but at least it was only me who paid the price. It was by experiencing these personal disasters I decided impulse without enough knowledge, is not the way forward. It was chiefly, the reason I decided to vote to Remain in the EU.

Instinctively, I felt the option to leave the EU looked dangerous on a financial and geopolitical level. I have also worked with a lot of EU members and they are just people, like me or anyone else reading this blog. Britain is (or was) a place where money can be made, just like Germany was for British tradesmen in the 80’s.

A Change of View?

As Brexit reaches its critical stages and a delay looks likely, there has to be a good reason to reverse it. There is little point if there is only going to be another 48/52 split in the vote. For that to be achieved, it needs people (like the chap at the beginning of the blog) to be able to reflect on their decision without ridicule.

Can huge swathes of British folk look at the situation, quell their impulses and look rationally at the fragile situation the nation is in? Can they look past their dislike for the Polish girl in Costa Coffee and be more rational?

I’m not very confident.

1 Reply to "Brexit Delay - Swaying Those Who Acted on Impulse!"

  • Trevor
    February 26, 2019 (11:33 pm)

    Great post Bob.

    I agree, another 48/52 vote probably does nothing more than stir up social unrest even further.

    I found it amazing that May painted herself into such a corner. She’ll lose both of the first two votes (clearly nobody but the most extreme/bonkers want a no-deal Brexit) but then rather than just kick the thing down the road indefinitely she’s offering to extend an exit to the end of June. It’s like some really crap hostage situation where you don’t really care about the outcome. Quite what she thinks will change between now and then I’m not sure, it feels like she’s just extending the pain, or perhaps hoping that she can bore people into submission. From what I can see (though I’m not sure of the veracity of the sources) the EU offered a concession to extend until the end of 2021 – so why didn’t she take that??

    Meanwhile, Corbyn announces a ‘theoretical’ second referendum with no clarity whatsoever of what the question would be, even if it came to pass. He’s still clearly less than enthusiastic about the prospect anyway.

    As Andy Burnham (who I have a lot of time for) said, Brexit was caused by Westminster and by definition could not be fixed by Westminster.

    Personally I don’t share your disdain for referendums. If it was me I’d do away with the whole mess of Westminster altogether, the dubious expense claims, the murky extramarital affairs etc etc and just do the whole thing via a weekly surveymonkey. People who were engaged could ‘have a go’ and other people could just ignore the polls in their inbox. It would probably give an equally clear direction only you’d lose the pantomime of old rich blokes shouting at each other. Boris and Co would have to get proper jobs and I’m sure the world would be a happier place.

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