What are the chances that Brexit will never happen? When Britons voted in 2016 to for Brexit – BRitain EXITing the European Union – we all held our breaths, waiting for the inevitable economic meltdown. When this did not happen, the exit looked definite, as it has done until recently.
Sir John Vincent Cable (Sir Vince), who is likely to be the next Lib-Dem leader, said on Sunday during the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show that he was:
“Beginning to think that Brexit may never happen. People will realise that we didn’t vote to be poorer, and I think the whole question of continued membership will once again arise.”
Sir Vince, who was the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills from 2010 to 2015, and is currently MP (Member of Parliament) for Twickenham, represents a party – the Lib-Dems – which fought an anti-Brexit election campaign in May/June and went down in votes.
Over the next two years, as the British government negotiates with the EU, will the British economy suffer? If it does, how many British voters will start changing their minds? BREXIN (BRitain IN the EU) is the opposite of BREXIT.
Tories and Labour back Brexit
Conservative MP, Owen Paterson, who is pro-Brexit, dismissed Sir Vince’s comment. Mr. Paterson said Sir Vince was doing no more than “chucking buckets of water around” and ignoring the results of last year’s referendum – in which the electorate voted for Brexit – and this year’s general election result, in which the two main parties – Labour and Conservatives – backed leaving the European Union.
In BBC’s Sunday Politics (video only available within UK), Mr. Paterson said:
“The fact is we had a huge vote this time last year. 17.4 million voters voted to leave. We had an enormous vote in the House of Commons – 494 votes to trigger Article 50. We had an election campaign in which the two main parties, Conservative and Labour, took 85% of the votes, and they made it very clear they back the Lancaster House speech, and leaving the customs union and leaving the single market and leaving the ECJ.”
“And Vince Cable’s party went down in votes, as did the other little parties that want to stay in the European Union. So I’m afraid Vince is behind history. We are going to leave. We are on target. Michael Gove triggered leaving the 1964 London Convention so we can take back control of our seas and bring back a sane fishing policy, allowing prosperity to our fishing communities and also much more importantly, getting environmental gains in our marine environment.”
— BBC News (UK) (@BBCNews) July 9, 2017
Brexit economic meltdown yet to come?
Sir Vince acknowledged that the Lib-Dem election result was a disappointment. However, he believes that the economic consequences of the Brexit vote are yet to come, and when they do the electorate is likely to change its mind.
While about 52% of the voters chose Brexit, 48% voted to remain in the EU. The country does not need much of a swing for the remainers to win in a second referendum.
Approximately eighty percent of Britain’s companies wanted the country to remain in the EU in March 2016, and would probably push for an anti-Brexit vote if there were a second referendum.
— Owen Paterson MP (@OwenPaterson) July 9, 2017