Breturn versus Brexit

Jon Danzig |

Brexit is based on blatant mistruths and lies. You may not believe this now, but we will all believe it next year, when Brexit finally arrives, cold, clammy and callous, naked and exposed.

Every reason given to leave was a stinking falsification. When, one day, there is a public inquiry into how our country was conned, there will be gasps into how conniving, cunning politicians managed to get away with it.

Lies, lies and more lies. That’s how Leave won.

In summary:

▪ MORE SOVEREIGNTY? Nonsense. We’ll get less. In the EU, we gained a share of sovereignty of our continent. Outside the EU, we’ll still live on a planet and have to obey thousands of international laws and treaties.

We share sovereignty with NATO, for example. Is that a reason to leave it?

▪ FEWER MIGRANTS? Really? Just think about it. Most EU migrants in Britain have been in gainful employment, doing jobs that we simply don’t have enough Britons to do, and making a massive NET contribution to our Treasury and economy.

Migrants come here for jobs – and if there are no jobs, they mostly don’t come, or don’t stay.

▪ MORE HOUSES, SCHOOLS AND HOSPITALS? Think again. Britain has a chronic shortage of skilled workers. Without EU migrants, we’ll have fewer builders, teachers, doctors and nurses.

Migrants are not the cause of our problems. Blaming them just excuses successive UK governments from investing sufficiently in our country.

▪ GET OUR COUNTRY BACK? We never lost it. If being in the EU means losing your country, why aren’t the 27 other EU member states planning to leave?

(Really, none of them are: support for the EU is the highest it’s been in 35 years).

▪ OUR OWN LAWS? The vast majority of laws in the UK are our laws and passed by our Parliament in Westminster, otherwise it would have nothing to do.

But in the EU, we benefit from laws and regulations for our continent that no single country alone could ever achieve.

Could our UK government have got mobile phone companies to scrap exorbitant roaming charges across the entire EU? To take Google to task for “abusive practices”? To ensure generous compensation for delayed flights across our continent? Of course not.

It took the might of 28 EU countries working together to achieve that, and so much more.

▪ THE EU IS RUN BY FACELESS BUREAUCRATS? Another lie. The EU is a democracy, run and ruled by its members, the 27 countries of the EU, along with its democratically elected European Parliament.

The European Commission is the servant of the EU, not its master, and the European Parliament has the power to choose, and dismiss, the entire Commission.


Before Brexit, no member state had ever left the EU. And no other member state is planning to leave now.

That’s hardly surprising. All the reasons to be an EU member are based on true, tangible and tested benefits over many decades.

In summary:

▪ PROFITABLE: EU membership is profitable – in real terms it cost Britain nothing to belong to the EU. On the contrary, we got back many times the cost of the annual membership fee. Being in the EU made us better off.

The CBI has calculated that EU membership was worth around £3,000 a year to every British family — a return of nearly £10 for each £1 we paid in.

[Source: CBI Report: Our Global Future, page 11:]

▪ PEACE: It’s the structure of the EU that has helped to ensure that no shots have ever been fired between member states. That’s an enormous achievement for a continent that was previously used to violence, wars and subjugation as the way to ‘settle’ issues.

In 2012, by a unanimous decision of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, the EU won the Nobel Peace Prize for advancing the causes of peace, democracy and human rights in Europe for over 60 years.

▪ FREEDOMS: The EU gives members freedom across much of our continent.

EU citizens enjoy the right to live, work, study or retire in any EU and EEA country – including access to state healthcare and education when working in those countries. That’s a precious right, that took decades to achieve.

The EU also gives members the right to free AND frictionless trade between member states, which has helped to maintain Europe as the planet’s richest continent.

The loss of these freedoms will be increasingly devastating for Britain and Britons.

Almost half of ALL our exports, and just over half of ALL our imports, go to and come from the EU. Nowhere else in the world comes even close.

The EU has an iron tariff wall against non-members. Outside of the EU, we are on the wrong side of that wall.

Even non-European countries that have negotiated ‘free trade’ agreements with the EU don’t enjoy full free trade access to Europe’s internal market, as Britain did as an EU member.

▪ DEMOCRACY: EU members have a democratic say, votes and vetoes on the running and future direction of our continent.

Outside the EU, Britain can only look on as those decisions are made without us – even though those decisions will affect us just as much, whether we’re in the EU or not.

Leaving means losing sovereignty, not gaining it.

▪ POWER: The EU is the world’s largest and most successful trading bloc, and the world’s biggest exporter and importer of manufactured goods and services.

The EU is one of the world’s top three economies, alongside the USA and China.

The Euro, in record time, has become the world’s most traded and trusted currency, alongside the US dollar.

All that gives the EU huge power, reach and muscle – enabling it to negotiate the best free trade agreements with other countries on behalf of its members.

Outside the EU, Britain is unlikely to get trade deals as good as, let alone better than, the free trade agreements we had as an EU member covering over 70 countries.

In any event, it will take years, maybe decades to find out.

▪ PROTECTION: EU laws protecting the rights of workers, consumers and travellers across our continent are probably among the most important EU membership benefits.

For example, 4-weeks paid holiday a year; the 48-hour working week; anti-discrimination law; guaranteed rights for agency workers; guaranteed worker consultation – all of these protections largely exist because of the EU.

No single national government can assure safety and protection across our continent. It needs the reach of a pan-European intergovernmental organisation to achieve that (albeit with the democratic consensus of member states).

Britain enjoys cleaner beaches as a direct result of EU directives on protecting the environment. Before those directives, successive British governments were not interested in cleaning up our beaches.

In addition, the EU is leading the world in tackling climate change – something that individual countries alone simply can’t undertake.

The government’s post-Brexit plan is to take away the rights of British citizens to sue them over issues such as workers’ rights, environmental policy and business regulation. This right to sue our government on these issues was something we only enjoyed under EU law.

There will be many other rights lost as a direct result of Brexit.

▪ STRENGTH: In a world dominated by the USA, China and Russia, Britain is dwarfed on its own. Being part of the EU gives us a bigger say and more strength on the global stage than as a small country out-at-sea and going-it-alone.

We could instead become closer to the USA – but is that what we really want?


When Brexit arrives for real, from 1 January 2021 onwards, we will be poorer, and with less sovereignty, fewer rights and protections, restricted trade, and diminished power.

The case for Breturn – Britain returning to the EU as a full member – is overwhelming.

It may take years to achieve a democratic reversal of Brexit, but it’s a worthwhile fight.

In a democracy, losing doesn’t mean having to give up. Ask Brexiters, they know.

We can win next time. We just have to ensure we get a next time.