I was very struck by the factual inaccuracies, false claims and exceptionally naïve assertions made by Stroud MP Siobhan Baillie in her House of Commons speech this week. According to her,
“if the Opposition had been correct about Brexit, the sky would have fallen in by now and dementors sporting EU flags would be swooping around our heads”.
I am wondering if she is aware that since the Prime Minister broke his promise that the Brexit deal signed on 24 December would give the UK “the exact same benefits” as EU membership, that UK exports to the EU in January fell by 38% and UK imports from the EU fell by 16%, and that his deal has left many supermarket shelves in Northern Ireland all-but bare.
I am wondering if she is aware that the UK fishing industry – the ‘poster boy’ for Brexit – has seen the breaking of every single promise made to it by Brexiteers, and that swathes of fishermen are openly declaring that they regret voting to leave the EU.
I am wondering if she is aware that the border down the Irish Sea which Johnson promised would never be drawn, is now well and truly in place.
I am wondering if she is aware that the success of the NHS-led, NHS-organised, NHS-administered vaccine roll-out – whose success is rooted in the government being excluded from decision-making, thereby avoiding the pandemic mismanagement catastrophe for which Downing Street has been wholly responsible – has nothing to do with Brexit, all EU countries having been able to make their own decisions on health policy, including procurement.
I am wondering if she is aware that Lord Frost – the notoriously rude Brexit negotiator, who Ms Baillie described in her speech as a “good thing” – has single-handedly created probably irreparable damage to relations between the UK and its biggest trading partner and closest neighbour.
I am wondering if she is aware that thousands of musicians and other artistes are horrified at the prospect of not being able to tour in Europe because of the cost of visas and other bureaucracy to which her Government agreed and signed-up, and that she now represents a Government overseeing what appears to be the end of a large scale British artistic presence in the EU – a presence that was guaranteed and was free when the UK was an EU member.
I am wondering if she realises that the entire country is aware that while the Government will blame the Covid-19 pandemic for the dire consequences of Brexit, that we the peoples of the UK will not be fooled, even after Johnson spent £2.5 million on a new, Russian-built Downing Street press centre intended to strengthen his propaganda machine.
Admittedly, Siobhan Ballie is a more of an irritant than a Brexit theorist. There are Brexiteers who are even more strident, ill-informed, divisive and inept than she is. But as she represents a constituency that voted firmly to remain in the EU, she might make a little more effort to tell the truth about the Brexit catastrophe of which she is a part.
Ed: Mark is Labour candidate for Minchinhampton in the Stroud District Council elections in May and lives in Brimscombe.
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