We should continue to argue for remaining, despite a date being confirmed for the triggering of Article 50
Theresa May recently announced that Article 50 will be triggered by the end of March 2017. Us Pro-Europeans reacted by comforting ourselves with some Valencian seafood paella and a hefty glass of Bordeaux wine, whilst desperately searching through our family tree to find an Irish or German relative, in the small hope we can gain access to an EU passport.
For those still in favour of staying in the European Union, the last three-and-a-bit months have felt like an exceedingly long nightmare, from which we will, eventually, awake to find that Brexit had never happened. We can no longer sit in denial; it is becomingly clear that ‘Brexit’ does in fact, mean ‘Brexit’, and that Theresa May and her terrifyingly inadequate cabinet are serious about invoking Article 50 soon.
However, in spite of this, I believe that pro-Europeans throughout the United Kingdom (almost fifty per cent of the electorate) must continue to resist Brexit, no matter how futile the fight may seem: keep attending anti-Brexit rallies, lobby MPs until they are sick of the sight of you, talk, write, paint, and sing about it. In my opinion, Brexit isn’t Brexit until the very second that Article 50 is triggered.
First and foremost, there were clear problems with the conduct of this referendum. There is evidence to suggest that the Leave campaign depended strongly on deceiving their voters—one such example being the lack of a plan for the aftermath of the vote. Perhaps the most significant example of this was the ‘£350 million a week for the NHS’: a claim that the Leave campaign has now officially retracted. The slogan and the big red bus that it was presented upon was an attractive vote winner, and is a clear example of the deception that occurred during the run-up to the referendum.
Many Leave voters have expressed regret in their decision, and have admitted to feeling deceived by the Leave campaign. 53 per cent of Welsh Brexit supporters are now in favour of remaining a part of the European Union. Unfortunately, it could easily be argued that much of the very real anger felt towards immigrants should have been directed at UK governments, past and present. In any case, Theresa May cannot possibly justify making this momentous economic and political decision whilst so many regret their decision, and nearly half of the population did not want it to happen in the first place.
As well as this, Theresa May should not deceive herself into thinking that she can trigger Article 50 without the consent of Parliament–as required by constitutional Parliamentary Sovereignty. The lawsuits filed against the government over Brexit are a good indicator of the serious legal case against the governments’ triggering of Article 50 without Parliament’s consent. It is for these reasons, amongst many more, that Pro-Europeans must keep going in the struggle against Brexit. The European Union is well-and-truly worth fighting for.
The NHS has no chance of survival without the support of the EU. When you resist Brexit, you are not only resisting in defence of those many doctors and nurses who come from all over the European Union, but you are also resisting in defence of yourself—providing that your health relies on the NHS. Furthermore, the United Kingdom’s universities are in danger of losing 15 per cent of university staff as a result of leaving the European Union. Therefore, we must fight for British academia and scientific research, if not for ourselves then for future generations to come.
Our country benefits vastly from multiculturalism. It is not just about cheap and easy access to Brie-de-Meaux—although that is vital to food snobs up and down the country. It is, more generally, about the open and ready access to so many other cultures that our membership of the European Union gives us. Economically, Brexit would be disastrous for the country. Although this is what many choose to focus on, we should also be concerned about the cultural decline which we will inevitably suffer as a result of leaving the EU. The rise in hate crimes and racism after the referendum result indicate that exposure to such variety of culture is vital to a functioning and harmonious society.
Therefore, although in light of Theresa May’s announcement regarding Article 50 it may seem fruitless to keep resisting our departure from the European Union, it is too-important an issue to just watch the country belly-flop into a detrimental and rushed triggering of Article 50. Do not be afraid of questioning ‘democracy’ by questioning this referendum, and do not be afraid to keep fighting this uphill battle. I believe that it is not over until the fat lady sings; in this case, Theresa May.