LETTER: ‘We’re all doomed’ if we leave the EU
I was labelled ‘liverish’ (on a national newspaper’s comments column) recently. I admit to being out of sorts on account of the weather and one or two other irritants.
However, I am still ‘liverish’ and the overriding reason for being so is that I am deeply pessimistic about this damnably divisive referendum that is already overshadowing all else - and the ‘official’ campaign has only just begun.
I said a few days ago that I believed that the result would be close, say, 55% to 45% one way or the other, and that the winning side would rejoice whilst the losing side would wail. I have been thinking since that I could have been wrong.
My own preference is for a 60-40 vote in favour of remain in the hope that the Brexiters will just shut up and let those of us who favour working in and with the EU get on with the job of improving an organisation that almost everyone agrees is in need of improvement.
But what if the vote is 60-40 in favour of leave? As Ken Clarke is reported to have said, Mr Cameron won’t last 30 seconds as PM following such a vote. I agree with Mr Clarke and many will rejoice at the political demise of DC. But what happens next?
The deeply divided Conservatives have a small majority in the House of Commons and I can’t see any of the Brexiters in the party having the ability or the capability of uniting Conservative MPs in the House sufficiently and effectively to manage the UK’s exit from the EU.
Nobody from the other major parties has a mandate to do it either. So there will have to be a General Election. The election is likely to be held with a background of a falling pound, a halting of investment from overseas and a possible house price collapse as well as increasing unemployment.
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George Osborne is Chancellor of the Exchequer and is likely to remain so pro tem. But our George is no Hjalmar Schacht, one of the true financial geniuses of the twentieth century.
Market chaos is likely and we could be in for either severe deflation or raging inflation: I know not which.
In the meantime and/or after an election, who takes over?
Some say that there could be a large influx of UKIPpers and some also say that a UKIP government could and should just take us straight out of the EU, rather as the southern states of the old USA just took themselves out of the old Union.
But a secessionist UKIP government with support from many Conservatives would run up against resisters and ‘unionists’ of all parties and none. What happens then?
Even if a new House of Commons voted by majority to do the necessary, the resisters and the ‘unionists’ would resist. There might be disorder and rioting. Who would have the authority to put down the disorder and stop the rioting?
It would not be ‘the usual suspects’ creating the disorder and doing the rioting. It could be a combination of the supporters of David Cameron, Jeremy Corbyn, Angus Robertson, Tim Farron and Caroline Lucas. Of course it wouldn’t be Douglas Carswell (pictured): he might be ensconced in Number 10 and wondering what on earth to do about the colossal crisis the likes of which no-one had seen in their lifetimes.
Would the Americans or NATO come to our rescue? Not on your Nellie: they have already been told to mind their own business. Would the EU step in? Of course not: that organisation having been given the cold shoulder here would have enough on its plate following the British people’s decision to Leave.
And what about Scotland? The Scots are unlikely to vote Leave but they would be more minded to leave the UK. As I said, I am deeply pessimistic and I fear not for myself - I am 78 and fading fast - but for my grandchildren and great grandsons. And, worst of all, I don’t know what to say or do.
As Private Frazer, the dour Scot in ‘Dad’s Army’ often said, ‘We’re doomed.’ Cheer me up, somebody, please.