We are in the dark. We are sitting in a bus at the top of a hill, and our Prime Minister is in the driving seat, about to start us rolling downhill towards a cliff edge we know is somewhere out there in the dark.
Some of the passengers want to turn on the headlights to see where we’re going and perhaps avoid obstacles on the way. Some want to check if there are any side roads we could take to turn aside from the cliff. Some want to check whether the brakes work, so we can at least stop before we reach the cliff edge.
None of these people are being listened to.
Instead, other voices are calling for the driver to stamp her foot on the accelerator, to reach the cliff faster, or to set fire to the bus. The driver, our PM, is listening to these other voices, and she is revving the engine…
There’s been much talk about our Government’s plan for Brexit, how much of it they should reveal, whether Theresa May even has a plan. It may not matter whether she has a plan or not. Once we trigger Article 50 — once we notify the EU we intend to leave — then the type of Brexit we end up with, the deal we get, will be out of our hands. We may say we want Hard Brexit or Soft Brexit, Smooth Brexit or Red, White and Blue Brexit, but it will be the other 27 EU countries that will decide for us, and they will put their own interests first, not ours.
What all this means is that we may be about to cause immeasurable and irreparable damage to the UK and, rather than do the hard work, planning and negotiating to reduce or even avoid that damage, it very much looks like our Prime Minister is going to just drive us over the cliff.
However you voted in the EU referendum, or indeed if you didn’t, this site is for you.
If you voted Leave, for whatever reason, we’ll aim to show you that you are not going to get what you were promised or thought you were voting for: whether you wanted to safeguard jobs or industries; to spend the money we send to the EU for something else like the NHS; to take back control, or to draw a line in the sand over immigration, you are not going to get what you asked for. This site will show you why.
If you voted Leave, but are now dismayed at how your vote is being used to justify all sorts of wild Brexit plans, to attack the law or make people who’ve lived in this country all their lives feel unwelcome, this site is for you.
If you voted Remain, didn’t vote, or voted Leave but have now changed your mind, and you want to know what you can do, this site is for you.
If, after we’ve shown you the drawbacks of leaving, you still want to leave, we hope you’ll agree with us that a hard Brexit would be disastrous, and will join with us to make sure we get the best deal possible. This site should still be of use to you.
We’ll show how damaging Brexit could be, and we’ll show how the promises made for life after Brexit are unsupportable. We’ll show how a hard Brexit could be the end of the UK as we know it.
We’ll also show what you can do to help stop this madness. Because if you are convinced by what we show you here, we can still prevent a harmful Brexit, and get the best possible deal for the UK, whether in or out of the EU.
The most important step in getting the best outcome is to be clear about the challenges we will face in leaving the EU and to look at each aspect of what we may gain or lose, so we can weigh up the consequences. We need to stop assuming that the rest of the world is queuing up to give us a better deal than we have now.
Then we need to make sure that we all take part in shaping our future. We cannot leave the decisions and the negotiations to the Government. They do not know how to make this process work, and yet have made promises about life in post-Brexit Britain, some of which they cannot fulfil, and some of which may well be very harmful to us.
They can’t give us the things they’ve promised us. Any planning that is currently taking place is being driven by hard-line Europhobe Brexiteers with very strong views, and if you don’t agree with their views you need to make sure you are heard too.
The chief way to do this is to make sure that Parliament, and the MPs who work there, and the devolved administrations in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales, take a full part in the process of leaving the EU and the negotiations.
We need to ensure that our representatives in Government have the confidence and the power to demand the best deal for us, and to halt the process entirely if the final deal would leave us worse off out of the EU than remaining in it.
Write to Your MP
Negotiating to leave the EU is going to be harder than the Brexiters would have you think
Why on Earth would the EU give in to our demands?
What is the Single Market?
Leaving the EU will be eye-wateringly expensive. Leaving the single market would be economic suicide