Today marks six years since the Brexit vote. Those six years have been chaotic, destructive and divisive, and have delivered no meaningful benefits. Any FTSE 100 executive team that unleashed such an expensive and damaging initiative on their company would have been fired long ago.
Brexit’s malign impact has been felt far and wide. Many of our farmers and fishermen face ruin as a result of the crippling bureaucracy and/or labour shortages Brexit has imposed on them. Small businesses have seen their order books decimated and supply chains smashed with customers and suppliers put off by the reams of import/export paperwork now required. Shops have been unable to fill their shelves because of the disastrous effect Brexit has had on the road haulage industry, exacerbating the shortage of lorry drivers and causing queues many miles long at ports. Airports are in meltdown because Brexit has frustrated their post-lockdown recruitment. And global experts assess our immediate economic prospects as the worst in the world, save for Russia.
That’s definitely not what Farage & co promised.
If I could turn back the clock, I surely would. But that is just as much a fantasy as the one Vote Leave peddled so successfully in the referendum. No imminent opportunity exists to rejoin the EU and, even if it did, the terms on which we would be readmitted would be nowhere near as positive as those we used to enjoy. But that’s no reason to give up and go home.
At some point in the future - sooner or later - there WILL be an opportunity to change the basis of our relationship with the EU, possibly even to rejoin. And when that happens, Open Britain will again be on the front line, fighting to reverse us out of this disastrous Brexit cul-de-sac.
But, in the meantime, our most pressing duty is to ensure that, when that moment comes, our democratic system functions properly and that we don’t have another sham result foisted on us.
That is why Open Britain is working hard on many fronts to defend and strengthen our democracy. When this Vote Leave government introduces legislation that undermines the fairness and integrity of our elections, we fight it. When they seek to restrict our right to protest, we resist. Now they are attempting to remove the legislation that protects our human rights, we are pushing back. And always working with partner organisations who share our objectives, so that we squeeze maximum value out of every penny donated by our supporters.
It’s sometimes easy to get despondent in the toxic fog of lies, incompetence and corruption that emanates from this government of crooks and charlatans. But we must stand strong if we are to stop the rot and start getting our country back on track. On this milestone day, I want you to know that I, and the rest of the Open Britain team, are as determined as ever to achieve that goal.