What are you doing to help get Brexit done?
With victory comes vindication. December 12th’s election saw a resounding landslide win for Boris Johnson’s Conservatives and a definitive answer to the question: will Brexit ever get done? This result has not come as welcome news for many UK citizens; among them a vast proportion of LSE’s left-wingers and Remainers. In ‘The London School of Brexit Bashing,’ I documented the extent to which the LSE’s academic rhetoric is directed against Brexit. But one resounding fact is clear: Brexit will happen on January the 31st. However, in light of Johnson’s victory, one must now extend an olive branch to the anti-Brexit movement. What must occur now is a paradigm shift for the LSE’s left-wing intelligentsia. Instead of acting like dormant saboteurs of Brexit, the LSE’s liberal elite must join the fray or risk irrelevancy.
What does it mean to help get Brexit done? As a start, this entails outright support for Brexit. Brexit will define a future Britain; it’s trade relations, culture and identity. To continue peddling rhetoric that so clearly contradicts the beliefs that underpin exiting the European Union is to create the same division and hostility that brought Brexit about in the first place. This spate of anti-Brexit dismay has already become clear in recent response articles on LSE’s Brexit Blog, such as Raluca Bejan’s “Austerity is to blame for the result of the general election, but so is nationalism”. As each successive article is posted to LSE’s Brexit blog, the implicit assumption that LSE seeks to paint alongside Brexit is clear: Brexit is something to judge through the frame of negativity and hostility. Indeed, as one delves deeper into such posts, further interesting mechanisms concerning the December election result can be detected: patronising the working class, the implicit treatment of all Brexiteers as racist, and sweeping statements such as “the electorate decided that inequality and poverty are secondary to the Brexit saga”.
However, to Britain’s benefit, such posts are becoming increasingly irrelevant as the truth emerges: Remain no longer exists. Of course, Brexit Britain will likely see a new rise in ‘Rejoiners’, but they will also, like the ideology they seek to promote, fade into obscurity. This directs one to the Brexit Blog and what it can do to help the cause. Very simply, it should at least balance out its anti-Brexit articles with ones that promote Brexit and British interests. Already with the replacement of ex-speaker John Bercow with Sir Lindsay Hoyle, we are seeing the benefits impartiality and fairness can bring both to the political process and to the formation of ideas across parties. The LSE blog, as an arbiter of what posts are selected, should follow suit. The same goes for the LSE ‘s UK anti-Brexit student body. Instead of seeking to criticize something that will serve to define their future, they should instead aid a cause which could boost the UK economy by as much as £135 billion per year. In the climax of many stories, a protagonist is forced to come to terms with a lie that has determined their identity, and thus face the truth during a process of catharsis. Anti-Brexiters should do the same.
Like quitting a bad habit, joining the Brexit movement will take time, focus, and energy. If one fails to become a Brexiteerthey should at least not seek to derail it at every turn. Of course, most students at the LSE have far less power than such prominent figures as anti-Brexit QCs Gina Miller or Jolyon Maugham. Even so, it is the cumulative effect of continuous self-righteous comments and delusional statements in the vein of Jeremy Corbyn’s ‘we won the argument’ Guardian post that will further knock the UK ship off its present course. Every sneer and negative comment adds to the vast multivariate collection of elements that decides all things from the UK’s economic future, to the ruling party’s confidence in its own policies. This should even be done out of self-interest for the anti-Brexit movement. It is clear from December 12th that the UK confirmed the result of the Brexit referendum. Seeking to vent one’s fury at the establishment through acts such as the December 13th ‘Boris is not my PM’ protests will do nothing to promote ‘Rejoin’.
The final benefit of joining Brexit also comes from Bejan’s unfortunate article. Here I must agree with Bejan: “nationalism” did help cause Brexit. A love of Britain, and what it represents to the world, fuelled both the referendum and the December 12th election results. By voting for Brexit in both, we have taken pride in our culture, our fantastic educational and political institutions, and our tolerant and accepting society. Too often in our media-saturated world are we tricked into believing that Brexit represents some hard-right dystopia. To be a Remainer is often to confirm one’s virtue to the masses. However, the most moral and caring thing we can do now, across the political spectrum, is to join a movement which has already demonstrated that it has the potential to change millions of lives for the better. Brexit is brilliant. For 2020, we must not sneer at its progress, but enhance its success.