Whilst I campaigned on the “Remain” side of the EU Referendum, most people know that I was quite ambivalent about the result. This was, and still is, because whilst it is better to be inside an organisation to change it, I do also believe that there had to be a significant amount of change to make it better for the UK. Fundamentally, when we leave, it will have significant change and unintended consequence, but we will move on and new relationships will form and we will be in a different place, metaphorically speaking at least. But, I am against triggering Article 50 immediately, for the simple reason, I have no idea what we are triggering!
This has been the main issue for me, everyone has their own version of what Brexit means. We don’t actually know and I am not a fan of initiating change when we don’t understand what it is we are changing. In this, I don;t just mean Westminster politicians, I mean all of us. It can be argued (it should be argued) that this stuff should have been in the original campaign. And yes, it should have been. This is why I was so annoyed with it all, because it was ALL BS, both sides, Remain and Leave. We had a number of different “promises” that were groundless, and in reality, those organisations were not in a position to deliver on anything.
However, we voted for Brexit, and we need to do that, but we do need to know what that actually means, what are we Brexiting? Here are a bunch of potential organisations we could be cutting ties with, and we need to understand if, and what is happening in each case and the potential impact (this is probably not comprehensive, but you get the idea):
- European Parliament
- European Council
- Council of the European Union
- European Commission
- Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU)
- European Central Bank (ECB)
- European Court of Auditors (ECA)
- European External Action Service (EEAS)
- European Economic and Social Committee (EESC)
- Committee of the Regions (CoR)
- European Investment Bank (EIB)
- European Ombudsman
- European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS)
- Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT)
- European School of Administration
- European Personnel Selection Office
- Publications Office
- European Court of Human Rights
- Science Europe
- CEN (European Standards)
- EUSCIENT (STEM Studies)
- European Free Trade Association
- European Fair Trade Association
- European Crime Prevention Network
- No doubt, lots more!
The point is this, let the public see a definitive list of whats on the table and then trigger Article 50. That way, we know what is going to be debated in the two-year period. What I don’t think is useful is triggering article 50, then spending the two years working out this list. And yes, this should have been done by the Government BEFORE the referendum.