You probably won’t have heard of Pete North. Unless you’re a political geek who’s followed the developments since the EU referendum exhaustively, you also won’t know what the Leave Alliance is. To cut a long story short, the Alliance has usually been one of the more sensible groups advocating Brexit, and North is its spiritual leader.
Yesterday North published a post on his personal blog setting out what he now expects to see happen. He takes for granted (as do I) that there will be no deal arising from the current, increasingly frantic, negotiations between the UK government and the EU’s team led by Michel Barnier.
He then sets out what the likely effects of this ‘no deal’ scenario are. They include:
- A ten year recession, never before experienced by anyone under 50
- Unemployment back to where it was in the 1980s
- A spike in crime
- Major cuts to the armed forces, including RAF reduced by a third
- Enormous price rises as British produce becomes accessible only to the rich
- A skeleton NHS, poorly staffed, partly because immigration has slowed to a trickle
What is most striking is that he is happy to live with these effects. He says: “I have always primarily thought Brexit would be a reboot on British politics and culture. In a lot of ways it will bring back much of what is missing,” and that “I think, given the opportunity to vote again I would still vote to leave. Eventually it gets to a point where any change will do.”
I would love to see a polling company set out this scenario for people and then ask them to say which way they would vote in a new referendum. If we had had this kind of candour from the Leave side during the campaign in 2016, it seems most likely we would have had a very similar result to the 1975 referendum, with a vast majority for staying in.
I’d love to hear from people who voted Leave, too, as to whether they would have done so had this been the outcome offered to them.