LOSING control of our money, borders, laws and trade

Brexit supporters are organised and disciplined in their constantly repeated sound-bites. Almost every day you can hear the mantra “Take back control of our money, borders, laws and trade”. Constant repetition of this line is aimed at it becoming a commonplace, something that is accepted without discussion. Yet the assertion is false.

As with many of the mantras of the Brexit ultras, their simplistic phrases belie the complicated truth. In international relations, contrary to their assertions, the UK cannot just make demands and expect the EU, or indeed the rest of the world, to give us exactly what we want. Any form of international agreement requires some nominal loss of sovereignty and compromise, but this is balanced with mutual benefits and agreed routes for appeal if either party breaks the rules.

To describe marriage as ‘losing control’ of your right to be single would be seen by most people to be silly. Agreeing a mortgage so that you can live in a home is not ‘losing control’ of your money. Respectfully taking off your shoes when visiting a friend’s house is not ‘losing control’ of your right to own footwear.

Framing cooperation as a loss of control is a populist rhetorical device that is starting to be exposed as such, as the government is finally having to face the hard reality of what Brexit really means – and how much we, as a country, actually stand to lose if we leave the EU.

Source: LOSING control of our money, borders, laws and trade – Richard Corbett


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