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  • Cameron Atkinson

Nowhere to Turn? Anti No-Dealers Face the Unstoppable

Last year, I wrote an article arguing against the notion of holding another EU referendum. A year later and my opinion on the matter, and Brexit more generally, is the same. Like many others I did not vote for Brexit. Truth be told, I am fearful of the economic consequences of leaving the EU with no deal and I am sceptical about the United Kingdom's prospects outside the EU. However, I accept the result and believe it must be implemented to protect our democracy.

While a lot of attention is paid to the economic consequences of leaving the EU without a deal on October 31st, less attention is paid to the consequences of not actually leaving come what may on October 31st. The issue of Brexit is now more than just about economic prosperity and political stability; it is about protecting the sanctity of democracy, which is the foundation upon which our society rests. Of course, no one in their right mind would deny that a poorly prepared for no deal would have catastrophic consequences for the people of the UK and the EU. However, the consequences of not leaving are equally as grave, if not worse. If the UK does not leave come what may on the 31st of October, the democratic foundations of our country would be ruptured beyond repair. History shows us that time and time again an economy can be rebuilt after suffering a severe downtown. However, history provides us with less assurances that a nation can recover so easily after betraying the democratic will of its citizens.

It is imperative that the UK leaves the EU come what may on the 31st October to protect our democracy. As well as the economic risks arising from no deal, we have to seriously consider the adverse impact that not leaving would have on our democracy and society. People must try to look past the short-term consequences of leaving the EU with or without a deal, grave though they are, and consider the long-term consequences of damaging our democracy. Power in this country must lie with the people and should be communicated and controlled by democratic procedure. Once this power is restricted or denied we risk sliding down a slippery slope whereby the government of the day ignores the will of the people. Ignoring the result of the first referendum sets a dangerous precedent leading into the future; one that we will come to regret. We must recognise how vital democracy is to our lives; it provides us with power, liberty and responsibility. We must not take it for granted. Of course, some people may well prefer economic stability and prosperity if it means less democratic power. I, however, do not. If the choice is between staying in the EU and enjoying the economic stability this brings at the expense of democracy, or leaving and suffering the economic consequences that this brings, but protecting our democracy, I would always opt for the latter.

Given the necessity of leaving the EU by the 31st of October, the immediate focus of anti no dealers should be implementing the result of the first referendum, be that via helping the government get a deal or preparing for no deal. There are two reasons for this. Firstly, efforts to prevent no deal only impede the bargaining position of the government while it tries to secure a deal. The EU would take our concerns much more seriously if we presented a united front; one that was willing to leave with no deal. Secondly, trying to prevent a no deal Brexit only makes it less likely we will leave on the 31st October. Leaving on this date is necessary to not only deliver the will of the British people, but to restore faith in our democracy. Furthermore, anti no dealers should not support continued calls for another referendum as another referendum cannot be justifiably held until the result of the first referendum is respected. The clock is ticking, and the very fate of our democracy hinges on the actions of the anti No-Dealers.

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