There is a part of the UK that has not given up on Brexit

There is a part of the UK that has not given up on Brexit

“The campaign to return to the European Union has begun.” There is a piece of the United Kingdom that has not resigned itself to Brexit. Close to the 2016 referendum, he was a minority, or we thought so, if forty-eight percent can be a minority, not of the population, but of those who went to vote. Today things are different. The polls say it: the majority of the British, if only they could, would like to reverse the divorce and, in general, would be willing to receive in Brussels some of that accursed “sovereignty” in exchange for cheaper imports. Witness it to Linkiesta John McPhie, founder of Rejoin and Reform, who marched fifty thousand people last Saturday in London. The dream is to rejoin the EU. It seems(goes) utopia, but he is sure: the wind is changing.

McPhie has a background in the military and then in business. Four years ago he created one of the most active acronyms in the counter-narrative on the forcing and deception of farewell, on which the Conservative Party has illegally built its electoral successes. More than a movement of opinion: R&R does fact checking, lobbying and organizes demonstrations, such as the one in the capital. Today it has thousands of members and buses have arrived from all over the country to parade up to Parliament Square. It was the first time since the pandemic and seeing the blue flags with gold stars on the Thames has a certain effect.

Brexit? “It was already a disaster, it is turning into a socio-economic catastrophe.” It is the symptom of a nation in need of reforms, if the overwhelming power of the Tories now discredited passes by forty-three percent of the consensus in 2019. For this, Rejoin and Reform proposes an agenda in three steps: return to the European customs union, renew the institutional architecture, start negotiations for entry into the EU. «Exiting the single market was never part of the referendum, the right-wing and Eurosceptic wing of the Conservatives slipped it into us in the 2017 elections and we suddenly had a hard Brexit».

According to McPhie, a party obsessed with Margaret Thatcher, which however that customs union helped set it up, is hostage to the “cult” of Brexit. But unlocking trade should be a matter of common sense, of problem solving. Making life easier for people would be the least, after having complicated it. It is not said, therefore, that the only ones to hope for are Labor. Indeed, their leader Keir Starmer is nicknamed “the silent knight” because he never speaks out on the issue and, when he does, he insists on carrying forward the failed project of his rivals, even though 60 percent of the party base would like to put him on the line. discussion.

«The referendum was not binding, it was i Tories to say it and they took everyone by surprise,” says McPhie. David Cameron, the premier at the time, was unpopular due to economic austerity: his contribution to the campaign was a flyer, shipped throughout the UK. Ten pages to magnify the EU. It cost millions of pounds, nobody read it. Paper was already anachronistic, with social media dominating. «No one has ever clarified where “Leave.EU” (one of the pro-Brexit political groups alternative to “Vote Leave”, the one promoted by the Conservative Party, ed) found those mysterious eight million: they came from Vladimir Putin».

Meanwhile, the new prime minister Rishi Sunak appears give up on the plan of the former minister Jacob Rees-Mogg to amend the two thousand four hundred laws inherited from the community regulations. An elephantine staff would be needed, Sunak has other priorities. He effectively suppressed the “ministry of Brexit opportunities”, established by Boris Johnson, of which Rees-Mogg was the owner. To solve the standoff over Northern Ireland, McPhie offers a pragmatic solution to the prime minister: to bring all of Great Britain back into the single market in which the province of Belfast has remained. He sounds provocative: acknowledging that Brexit has not kept its promises and has been paid for above all by the weaker classes is not. Tangibly, in the deterioration of daily life.

“The great delusion generated by our self-destruction is dead. We have entered a new phase. The government is exhausted. At the mercy of a weary neoliberal ideology, which only a few of its members understand, devoured by careerism and their own interests, it is heading towards a tsunami of problems that has arisen on its own and does not know how to deal with». First there was the coronavirus, then the war in Ukraine, but now Downing Street has run out of excuses. “Beneath these muddy waters was always Brexit.”

Everything is more expensive. When rates rise this high, mortgage holders risk losing their homes. There is a shortage of manpower, especially in the much-celebrated NHS during the pandemic. Disposed of it shock for the death of Queen Elizabeth, according to McPhie the British have “awakened”. Labor rises in the polls but must resolve the existential dilemma, the Conservatives count among their donors repudiated oligarchs and not by Putin. In the next election, Rejoin and Reform will promote tactical voting and a “coalition of progressives.”

From across the Channel, McPhie had a privileged perspective on Europe after 2016. The one that according to the sovereigns should not have survived Brexit and is still here. «Europe is much more than trade, which is almost incidental – concludes the founder of Rejoin and Reform -. It’s about creating a thriving community.” He uses a more evocative word in English than in Italian: togetherness. “Often the EU was slow to react, but for Ukraine you acted quickly. It was reassuring, European politics proved to be mature. Europe is a wonderful ideal, in the making for hundreds of years”.

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