by Samuel Dale
Stop it. Just stop it.
I voted to remain in the EU. I wanted us to stay in as much as anyone and still believe it is a major mistake that the UK will come to regret.
But I was on the losing side. Remain lost in a clean, fair fight where robust and dodgy arguments and statistics were deployed on both sides.
The vote was close but clear. The Leave campaign won by more than half a million votes and that means Brexit must happen.
These seem like the most basic, simplistic points imaginable but some in Labour and the wider Left are still refusing to accept the result.
Tony Blair has suggested a second referendum on the final deal. Alastair Campbell has repeatedly called for Brexit to be stopped. Labour-supporting lawyer Joylon Maugham says the legal process for reversing Article 50 is sound.
And then there is Professor AC Grayling, who appears to have lost his mind. Even Professor Richard Dawkins, the high priest of rationality, says Brits have not spoken on Brexit (when they quite clearly have).
These are all people I respect but here is the truth: You can deploy whatever clever, legalistic shenanigans you like but there is zero chance that Britain will remain in the EU. Absolutely, stone cold zero.
The government is committed to it. The opposition is committed to it. Parliament has overwhelming voted for it. And – most importantly – the public has had a clear vote on it.
We are leaving in 2019 in one form or another so stop indulging a silly fantasy.
Why one earth would remainers waste their breath on a pointless campaign to reverse Brexit when it is politically impossible and utterly anti-democratic?
It comes to something when Jeremy Corbyn is more rational and in tune with public sentiment and reality by accepting the result.
There are real problems mounting from Brexit including a myriad of constitutional issues from Northern Ireland to Scotland to Gibraltar.
There is the shocking collapse in Sterling and the prospect of rising inflation and cost of living feeding through over the next few years.
There is the plethora of technical and regulatory negotiations over dozens of industries, which will have a huge impact on British life over the next decade from food standards to patent law.
And there is the role of tariffs and trade policy and how it will affect our own exporters and industries.
Instead of wasting time talking about reversing Brexit, we need to ensure that the headbanging Brexiteers don’t launch a sly, massive de-regulation of the British economy.
What will happen to bank capital requirements when we are no longer tied to CRD IV? What will happen to hedge fund regulation when we leave AIFMD? Will food standards be reduced?
Every second that the Left is focused on a pointless quest to reverse a democratic vote, we are ignoring the next battle to stop Britain becoming an offshore tax haven with crippled public services.
We must get ahead of tomorrow’s big debates instead of fighting yesterday’s battles. It means hard-thinking and policy choices but public discourse on the Left has to make the shift.
There is no worse cliché in politics today that the “Remoaner”. Everyone is allowed to moan – most of politics is literally moaning about things you don’t like. Brexiteers have been moaning for 25 years and they still moan about everything. But there comes a time when it is counter-productive and distracting.
We are in danger of missing important, era defining changes to the shape and structure of the British economy if we become a stuck in June 2016.
As a minority, albeit a large one, we have to build alliances with liberal leavers to ensure the government doesn’t take Brexit as a one-way ticket to a libertarian paradise.
With Labour in the doldrums, it is more important than ever to shift a national debate towards the consequences of Brexit and not changing the result.Public voices like Blair are key opinion-formers with a vaccum on the Left.
If we don’t move on then those who want to slash the state down to size will once more dominate conversation. We have to deal with the world as it is and not how we would like it to be.
You would think that Tony Blair – of all people – would be able to understand that.
Sam Dale is a financial and political journalist