Despite any polling, rejoining the EU is over for now - Brian Monteith

Devil is in the detail, writes Brian Monteith

Not for the first time polling is suggesting the British public favours rejoining the European Union, but like so many polls built around campaigns, the truth is at odds with what is presented.

In the last few weeks there have been a flurry of polls reporting the British public believes Brexit has been a catastrophic failure and there is an unchallengeable consensus for rejoining the ailing federalist political project at the earliest opportunity.

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The polls no doubt contributed to the BBC broadcasting the Radio 4 programme, “Brexit: Could we rejoin the EU even if we wanted to?”. Hosted by well-known remainer journalist David Aaronovitch, he discussed with four other commentators known for their EU sympathies how close the UK could become with the EU. Not one panellist had a reputation for believing in or advocating Brexit.

For the taxpayer-funded public broadcaster with a duty for impartiality it was an act of bias that trumped any loaded output from GB News. Broadcasting regulator, Ofcom, has thus far stayed silent but must take a look at such self-serving output that is clearly unrepresentative of mainstream opinion.

How can I say that when polling shows support for rejoining? Simple, because the polling reveals the headline is contradicted by the detail behind it.

Just a little research shows that while polling finds a consistent majority in favour of the UK rejoining the EU, when the same sample of those surveyed are asked questions about accepting the terms of membership the EU will expect to be met, the support reverses into an outright rejection of the EU. In particular the British public is hostile to any possibility of the UK signing up to join the Euro currency – with support for rejoining falling by half – month after month after month that it has been conducted since November 2022.

It rather echoes polling on Scotland being independent being attractive to nearly a majority until confronted with the reality of finding a suitable answer to what currency to use and how to fund a huge deficit without introducing economic austerity.

Naturally, those sympathetic to the EU dismiss the massive Euro spanner in their works as unimportant, but it is an obstacle they cannot avoid nor surmount.

There is no process for re-joining the EU, only a process for joining – which means all the published requirements pertaining to membership must be met. This presents as much an imperious challenge to the United Kingdom as it does to the SNP’s plans for an independent Scotland. It also means there are no opt-outs possible for the Schengen border control agreement, a swathe of regulations previously rejected by British Governments, or rebates on financial contributions. The UK would be expected to adhere to the standard terms of new membership – and when these items are listed to voters the support for rejoining the EU becomes a minority pursuit.

Rejoiners argue the Euro is not mandatory, but this is a falsehood. Membership has been a requirement for new members since the nineties, even before the currency was officially launched.

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It is also cited that many countries sign up to the Euro but have no intention of meeting that condition, but this is disingenuous. Of the 27 EU members states only Denmark has an op-out from the Euro (secured in 1992, after which op-outs were abolished) and the remaining countries not yet full Euro members are progressing towards its adoption. For example Bulgaria is due to join at the end of this year (subject to a referendum) and Romania in 2026.

The reason rejoining the EU appears relatively popular among the British public is simple enough; there is an incessant diet of processed bad news about the outcomes of Brexit being fed to the public that relies on distortions, misrepresentations and absolute falsehoods. Not even the UK Government (which is meant to champion the position it gained a mandate for) cares to rebut the outrageous claims made about inflation, trade and economic growth being blamed on Brexit.

Be it Germany, France or the Netherlands, the stats show their problems are often worse than in the UK – despite all being central to the EU project.

Meanwhile companies such as Airbus and Nissan have overcome their own scepticism about Brexit and are getting on with investing in new projects made in the UK. The UK gives Airbus wings – and Nissan, Siemens and other industrials from EU member states carry on expanding their involvement in Britain.

Of course there is dissatisfaction with Brexit; campaigners that were against it are never off the airwaves and are well funded by globalist philanthropists, various EU institutions – and in some cases the UK Government itself; while many of those who wanted Brexit make great noise about the sub-optimal outcomes negotiated by divided and weak Conservative governments that remain to be repaired. The unnecessary capitulation over the Northern Ireland Protocol and failure of Sunak’s Windsor Agreement to repair the damage being one of many such examples.

Instead, it is left to a few individual truth-tellers to promote the value of Brexit benefits such as the Turing educational programme (far superior to the EU’s Erasmus), the investment now pouring into freeports and deals such as the AUKUS defence agreement or the trade pacts in the pacific, where future economic growth and bigger markets exist.

The truth is that the debate is mostly one way traffic – but that would change in a referendum – which is why Labour and rejoin strategists wish to avoid a public vote at all costs.

Brexit was always about regaining sovereignty for making our own laws and bringing full accountability to our politicians for the choices and judgements they will make.

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That there is still an undeniable public craving for change does not represent a failure in Brexit – it highlights the failure of our political class to recognise what the public wants and to meet their demands.

Brian Monteith is a former member of the Scottish and European Parliaments and a director of Global Britain.



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