When the UK formally left the EU on 31 January, it entered a transition period. This period, during which the EU and UK negotiate their future relationship, continues until the end of December this year. But in the meantime, EU rules still apply in the UK. So naturally, there hasn’t been any significant change to life in the UK since it left.
This point must be crystal clear for those who campaigned for Brexit. So it’s somewhat surprising, if not misleading, for prominent Brexiteers to celebrate the absence of catastrophe as a vindication of their campaign. Because it’s simply too soon to tell; and too hard to distinguish potential Brexit catastrophe from that borne from Tory austerity.
In fact, there couldn’t be any greater disaster for British people than the hardship already imposed by Tory austerity governments. This happened long before Brexit Day and it had precious little to do with EU membership.
So it beggars belief why two leading Brexiteers would celebrate the ‘lack of doom, food riots and medicine shortages’ as the UK left last Friday night:
I see the ‘planes are still flying. Local supermarket still full of food. Restaurants in post-Brexit London still packed on a Saturday night. Do you suppose the doom-mongers who said Leaving the EU would bring ruin are feeling just a little foolish?
— Douglas Carswell (@DouglasCarswell) February 1, 2020
Read on...Support us and go ad-free
One day in and so far:
❌No food riots
❌No medicine shortages
❌No gridlocked motorways
❌No migrant camps in Kent
❌No collapse in house prices
❌No emergency tax rises
❌No world war
Weren't we told that "It's not Project Fear, it's Project Reality"?
— Daniel Hannan (@DanielJHannan) February 1, 2020
Another Brexiteer got in on the act too:
This didn’t go unnoticed
There was a huge reaction to their comments as people called them out:
This level of ignorance is quite simply baffling! We have just entered a transition period! https://t.co/0UqpeSXssL
— Peter Stefanovic (@PeterStefanovi2) February 2, 2020
Spotted a few high profile Brexiteers telling us that planes are still flying, food is still on the shelves etc.
You'd think they'd know about the transition period wouldn't you?
— Simon Bye 🎪🔶 (@UB5simon) February 2, 2020
And even one prominent ex-Tory was stumped by their tweets:
This is a most peculiar and misleading point – we have only so far entered a transition period – we are still in all EU regulation, trade, services, tariff and quota schemes until the end of the year – none of this – as presumably you know – would be affected. https://t.co/EqBCKMQJIP
— Rory Stewart (@RoryStewartUK) February 1, 2020
One person provided a short and clear explanation to resolve any confusion:
But Human Rights Watch’s European media director Andrew Stroehlein wasn’t buying the idea that there was a misunderstanding:
An alternative perspective
So on 31 January, there couldn’t have been a catastrophe. At least, nothing worse than the catastrophes already in motion. And that’s because the UK has now been living under devastating Tory austerity for almost a decade. And as Sajid Javid announced the continuation of this austerity, things could be about to get even worse.
Now that Boris Johnson’s Brexit Bill is law, things are not only likely to get worse for working British people, but also for refugee children trying to join their parents in the UK. Those who backed a Tory Brexit should be aware of the act (and the party) that they supported. Because the Conservative-led catastrophe has been underway for some time.
Featured image via Flickr – Christoph Scholz
We need your help to keep speaking the truth
Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.
Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.
We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.
In return, you get:
* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop
Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.
With your help we can continue:
* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do
We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?