The Results of "Brexit"
No, I still don't like the word. Thanks so much for asking, but there's something I hate far more than the word. Yes, of course I hate the result, and I hate the hate that seems to be spewing forth from under the surface of our country. If I'm not careful I'm going to hate the hate that hates, and then I'll be Taylor Swift, and that would never do.
We, and by we I mean whatever shitwad ends up in charge after the dust settles from this round of a spat which started at Eton and I certainly hope is finished or it might end up with Cameron and Johnson bare-chested wrestling over the last pig's trotter on a smouldering pile of what was once Britain, need to work out what to do next.
As I see it there are options. Which one appeals may depend on whether you voted for Leave or Remain, and for what reason you voted Leave. If, for example, you voted Leave out of a belief that we should stand utterly alone, or at least only dealing through the WTO and whatever bilateral deals we can make in the future, then I know which of the options you'll like. You'll like my Option 1. Not the casual racism which is coming out of it, I hope, but the result is what you wanted. I hope you're happy. I think you're wrong, but it's hard to prove that one, since economics is, rather famously, the only science where just because something has happened doesn't make it possible. People are confusing, complicated creatures, and until we hand over all our purchasing to trained bots who will haggle for us, automatically find the best price, do endless research over product quality and provenance, then we make mistakes and ruin the supposedly perfect market.
So, it's not them. And before I deal with the categories of people (don't worry - I'm being nice) I'll outline my "possible outcomes" from this... is it right to call it a debacle? Yes, I think it is. From this debacle.
Option 1. We leave the EU, and become an independent country with all our own sovereignty (which means breaking from the European Convention on Human Rights, since we long-before-the-EU-was-a-twinkle ceded supremacy to their courts). We negotiate individually with whoever wants to talk to us.
Option 2. We leave the EU, have an almighty spat with them while negotiating our way out, and end up with basically nothing. I know this hurts them too, but given we sent Nigel "There are just no words to describe the inexicrable mess that is this man" Farage to them, when we really ought to have kept him locked in an attic until we could conveniently burn him alive (or have him set fire to the house in a tragically-ironic fire not detected due to not having sufficient nanny-state smoke alarms fitted). No one who wants any kind of trade deal wants this.
Option 3. We leave the EU, and negotiate access to the single market. This will, according to the EU now, involve a right to free movement, and will also almost by definition remove the UK rebate. Oh, and of course we won't get a vote any more. I know it's possible they'll change their minds, but they can't be seen to encourage leavers, so it seems unlikely.
Option 4. We don't leave the EU. We ignore the referendum. We do somewhat run the risk of people saying "But you're undemocratic. The people have spoken." That's true. We'll address that.
So, if you're a Remainer, you don't like Option 3, and you probably find Option 4 somewhat offensive. If you're a Leaver who voted out because of immigration, you don't like anything apart from the completely-out Option 1. In fact on either of Options 3 or 4, you're probably going to be up in arms. But, I would certainly hope, you are a minority even within the minority (because of the turnout, so I'm sticking with it, and if nothing else, minority of a majority makes it really awkward to get a feel of how many there are). But please notice these people are up in arms equally on Options 3 and 4.
I would therefore say that what you've actually got, as any kind of sane person, is a choice between being undemocratic right now but keeping a rebate, a seat at the table, vetoes over what Europe does in the future, oh and probably Scotland and Northern Ireland, or being honourably democratic and paying through the nose for the privilege.
Given we're a country that has gone into several illegal wars, been complicit with illegal rendition, spied on our own citizens and said nothing when our closest ally actually assassinated theirs, sold arms to dictators around the world so long as they pay well and/or have oil, I don't think the moral high ground is really ours at the moment. I think a little dishonour is already banked here. I think a big apology to Angela, who'll probably take it way more graciously that we deserve (she managed not to punch Berlosconi when he waved her away because he was on his phone as she arrived - if she can cope with him, surely we can send someone as a sacrifice?) and we'll all forget this ever happened.
Our country has said it wants to press the button marked Insane Stupidity Because Cameron Told Us Not To. Our leaders could now press it. Or they could follow the political force that is Mick Jagger, and remind us that you can't always get what you want. But if you try sometimes. You just might find. You get what you need. Which in this case is to be told you can't be trusted with referendums, so don't ask for one again.