Brexit: Even devout Leave voters didn’t think it would be like this – Helen Martin

Can we the people please have our lives back? We need an exit from never-ending political war over Brexit, writes Helen Martin.

Monday, 25th November 2019, 6:00 am
David Cameron resigns on the steps of 10 Downing Street following the vote to leave the EU. Picture: Getty

Some things in life are worse than Brexit. The death of a loved one, a marriage breakdown, worries about ­children, bankruptcy, becoming homeless, or other personal disasters, are all nightmares that can destroy us, cause depression and change our lives and attitudes.

But on a lesser scale, Brexit might have similar effects. For three years it has dominated daily newspapers and television bulletins and channels, many of which are biased in defence of one party or another.

During the lead-up to the ­election, that’s peaked, and some regular programmes are being cancelled for political debates and interviews.

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Parliaments, from the EU to Westminster, Scotland, Wales and Ireland, have had to spend so much time on decisions, negotiations and now an election, that their governing time has been limited. That’s especially the case for Westminster. Their ‘jobs’ have been arguing with each other, not working for us.

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Investors and industries have not been sailing on with development, deals and expansions. They’ve been left floating on a financial raft in the trading ocean with no idea of their direction. Some have bailed out of the UK, thinking that’s the safest thing to do and carry on with their plans in the rest of the world.

There is no point in building up production in the UK if it risks coming out of the single market and customs union, which must be some of the ­reasoning behind industrial closures, from car manufacture to food production. So, thousands of jobs have been written off leaving many families in crisis and towns deflated.

No wonder NHS is struggling

Saving the planet and preventing mass animal extinction and climate change needs intense government input and control, yet Brexit is top of the agenda in ­Britain. If Leave wins again, another decade will be spent negotiating and setting up full departure.

Even now there is no clear prediction of what’s going to happen when the polls open. Voters’ minds have changed so we still don’t know whether there will be a clear majority or a hung Parliament, and, if the latter, which party will back another.

Some families are united in their opinions, others are divided. Friendships have been split. Medicine availability is under threat. At least Scotland has another option, but that too can divide some families.

Overall, the UK has been as good as frozen for three years – and driven to poverty. Each political party is blaming another for our collapsing society and financial loss.

They know, but they won’t repeat, that last month the Bank of England and the Centre of European Reform were quoted as saying Brexit cost the UK around £440 million a week in lost growth since the referendum. The Omni Calculator Project working on data for public information declared the total was then around £142 billion. No wonder the NHS is struggling.

The only thing we do know for sure, is that all this was caused by David Cameron setting up the referendum to try and stop Nigel Farage’s Ukip dividing the Conservatives. And when Leave won, he backed out of the PM role.

It was mere inter-party politics that brought us into this hell hole and has already ruined the UK.

Scotland has a little more hope from investors, because it has a chance of staying in the EU, while Tory Westminster is still aiming for a World Trade Organisation deal and, trading-wise, ‘joining’ the US.

Even devout Leave voters didn’t expect all of this. Unlike politicians, ordinary people don’t want, or expect to be, constantly immersed in warring politics for years on end. We need our normal lives back.