On Friday evening I wrote a blog post. People have shared it across the UK and the world. At the moment over 180,000 individual people have read the post. You have shown your anger.
Some people have regretted their vote and want a new one. Some people don’t regret their vote, but are willing to have an educated discussion. Some people have sent me death threats. Which are hilarious, because the spelling is really bad.
But now we have to use our anger, and lead the way forward. In this post I have highlighted some of the things I PERSONALLY am worried about post-Brexit. We have to use our anger, and keep standing up to the government. We need to tell them what we believe and how we want post Brexit UK to look.
And this post is for everyone, even those who voted leave, because I hope that once you read it, you will find at least one thing you care about and want to fight for in this new United Kingdom.
Before I begin, I just want to say, I know about the EU petition going around, and I might be cynical, but I don’t believe it will come to anything. This referendum was a farce, but honestly…if we have another one, it will just become a case of vote, rinse and repeat until we get the result we want. No way our government will do that, they would never recover from the distrust from half the country. And the petition is already being investigated for fraud. I want to focus in this article on something we can do today, tomorrow, and in the weeks to come.
Five pieces of EU legislation we are likely to lose after BREXIT. (Because our government has ALREADY tried to either reduce their impact or get rid of them entirely.)
- In 2012, the review of employment law that David Cameron commissioned from venture capitalist Adrian Beecroft recommended that small businesses should be excluded from shared parental leave. Parental leave was estimated as costing £60 million a year, but its benefits are reported as zero.
- Equality rights are unlikely to be safe – in 2011, the government launched a Red Tape Challenge looking for “unnecessary regulations” to cut and the Equality Act 2010, which “contains the right to equal pay and protection from all forms of discrimination”, was one of the first pieces of legislation they felt should be scrapped.
- Race equality– EU law helped defend most of the rights contained in the Equality Act but the government found some things to repeal that weren’t required by EU law like the statutory discrimination questionnaires.
- Conservative MPs want to limit discrimination awards. If this happened, those people who have suffered the worst forms of discrimination – the kind that has brought careers to an end – would get a relatively small sum that in no way reflected the harm caused. At the moment EU law prevents this, but after BREXIT…well…
- The Working Time Directive, now 2003/88/EC, is a perennial target of attacks from UK Governments, especially those on the Right, this Directive lays down “minimum safety and health requirements for the organisation of working time”. The Directive applies to every worker and contains, in broad terms, rights to daily and weekly rest, limits on maximum weekly working time, paid annual leave of at least four weeks, and measures to protect night workers.
The unfortunate truth is, I can’t say for sure these acts will be cut, or if parts will be cut, or how many more acts are under threat, because our government has very conveniently not released this to the public, at least not to any archive I can access without paying. But we must be vigilant moving forwards, and watch, and be sure that when these laws are rewritten over the next few years, we know what is happening. This is our chance to make sure Brexit doesn’t fuck us over any more than it already has.
Untangling Britain from Europe will cause constitutional mayhem
Separating Britain from decades of European legislation will take years.
Simon Gleeson described the resources required to enshrine Brexit within UK legislation as “monumental”. He said: “It will be simply impossible to do any comprehensive review of EU legislation before any reasonable exit date.” So that two year limit we have? Impossible. Cue third parties being paid by a Tory government to rewrite our laws. You Brexiters get it now? We still don’t get to decide on our own laws! At least the EU had our interests at heart, not lining “Tory and friends” pockets.
Whatever type of legal divorce takes place post-Brexit, it will tie up resources for years to come.
What about Holyrood?
A big complication is that the ECA is incorporated directly into the devolution statutes in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
The Scotland Act 1998 states that acts of the Scottish Parliament which aren’t compatible with EU legislation are “not law”. Similar provisions exist in the Government of Wales Act and the Northern Ireland Act.
For instance, control over agriculture and fisheries policy handed to Scotland when devolution was enacted would “default” to Scotland in the event of Brexit, but the UK government wants to retain control over these areas.
Westminster must seek the consent of the Scottish parliament for legislation on devolved issues. Any attempt by a UK government to force through changes could cause outrage in Scotland — where people overwhelmingly voted to remain in the EU — and boost support for a second independence referendum.
On my last blog post, people commented (in capital letters), telling me EU law actually prevented the UK from helping steelworkers…I need to put this straight.
The EU does regulate circumstances in which public investment can be put forward to rescue an industry in difficulty as well as the amounts: anything below £160,000 doesn’t require the government to ask the European Commission. Doesn’t mean the government always do it though.
- When the SSI steelworks in Redcar went through a similar crisis in September 2015, the European Commission confirmed that the UK government could have granted state aid support to the ailing plant.
- Before May 2010, the government had offered an £80m loan to develop new technologies at the Sheffield steel producer Forgemasters. The newly elected government withdrew this offer even though it was compatible with EU state aid rules.
Even outside the EU restrictions on state aid would apply according to WTO rules. But our government is not interested.
So what next?
Well honestly? Nobody knows what the hell is happening, the world has gone crazy. I am tired of reading misinformed comments and tweets, and worst of all, #bregretters. I am actually having to fight to keep my anger that I so proudly shouted about two days ago, in no small part to comments like this…
Like, did you even read the post before you commented? Or did you just see it was a “remainer” who was angry? But I did enjoy the suggestion that my period made me angry- if that is what keeps me shouting and having an opinion, then bring it on!
But you know what? I made a promise! To myself. To my readers. I said I would stay angry so that I could really make a difference post brexit. So this is what I have been up to this weekend.
I signed up to the UK open government forum.
I joined the electoral reform society.
I joined Unlock Democracy.
I posted this reply to the idiotic comment above
And here are things either I plan on doing in the future, OR things you might want to do now to ensure you have a voice.
Join a political party.
Contact your local Member of Parliament or MEP
Join a political movement
Sign petitions to help push through the change you want to see
38 Degrees– This is one I have followed for a long time.
Show people how angry you are on social media! Use hashtags, get involved in discussions and ignore people who tell you to shut up or get over it! Personally, I would far rather see people get angry over politics on my Facebook wall or Twitter feed than see yet another picture or hashtag with #cleaneating or #sorrynotfuckingsorry. (OK, I embellished that last one. You get my drift.)
So 48% people- We lost, but that doesn’t mean we’ve lost our voice. So we keep using it, keep our opinions loud, and we #stayangry
52% people- you won, but the fight isn’t over. If you had clear reasons for casting your vote- remember them. If you didn’t, find some! And keep fighting, because this is your result, and it is your leave campaigners who are currently blaming someone else…
— Robert Peston (@Peston) June 24, 2016
Let’s keep fighting people!
See you at the front line of politics!