I’ve been thinking about what I’d say to Lexiters, and any other Brexiter who’s willing to listen, that might get past the whole “will it/won’t it be a disaster” debate with firmly held positions on both sides. I’m not sure it would help in most cases, but it might in some...

Here’s the thing. Whether you prefer leaving with no deal or some other form of withdrawal agreement, and whether or not you believe that leaving with no deal would be as catastrophic as half the country is terrified it will be, whatever way we leave, we will be facing years of negotiations with the EU and every other country in the world to improve Britain’s position and gain access to things we all want, like safe access to radioactive materials for cancer treatments, or cooperation with other countries’ police forces to fight international crime, or trade deals that make us all rich, or at least not-poor.

On the basis of the past 30 months, do you honestly believe that this government, which barring political circumstances even worse than the past month will be in place for the next 40, is able to successfully conclude those negotiations in a way that most people would be happy with?

On the basis of the past 30 months, do you believe that the day that we leave the EU will be the last day of Brexit negotiations dominating our news, our government, and our everyday lives, when those look set to carry on for years?

On the basis of the past 30 months, do you believe that the people of Britain who disagree with the type of Brexit we get, which will include everyone who wanted to Remain and everyone who wanted a different type of Brexit to whatever we end up with, will just sit quietly in the corner and shut up about it?

On the basis of the past 30 months, do you honestly think you will be able to sit back and relax? That everything important in the lives right now of you and the people you care about will be preserved? I don’t mean the people you don’t care about, and I don’t mean the things you hope to gain or regain from Brexit—I mean the things we will all lose, at least until those years of negotiations are complete, which will take a lot of work by people you don’t think are up to the job. What do you personally not want to give up? What if you have to?

On the basis of the past 30 months, do you think Brexit will deliver you a quiet life? If you don’t care about having a quiet life, what do you think are your personal chances of thriving if everyday life gets harder than it is now? Can you see that losing some of the things your life and work depend on will make life harder, until they’re replaced? Didn’t you vote to make things better, not harder?

Can you see why telling the government to “just get on with it” can’t make all of this endless negotiation, news about Brexit and prolonged uncertainty go away? And that until it does go away, none of us can just get on with our lives?

Can you see that wanting to avoid years of negotiations, years of uncertainty, and years of having our futures shaped by politicians who have shown themselves to be not up to the job, was one reason many people voted to Remain? On the basis of the past 30 months, can you see why many would again?

Make all of this go away. Back a People’s Vote, and vote to stay.

17 January 2019 · Politics