Further to Andrew Milroy's letter (Shropshire Star, 29 January 2021) I write to endorse his thesis, but also to point out that the Conservative Party's Brexit project is far more sinister than most British citizens realise. Let's start with the fact that the Tories brought into effect a non-binding advisory referendum intended to assess public opinion regarding EU membership. In the absence of a qualified majority the referendum could have delivered a 50/50 result, meaning neither Leave nor Remain and so causing a debate in Parliament, as intended.
However out of the blue, the advisory referendum was converted from non-binding to binding with the result that the subsequent narrow Leave majority would not stand up to legal challenge. Very convenient for those who desired Brexit and sinister as a course of political events, suggesting that by hook or by crook the Conservative European Research Group was going to get Brexit any way it could.
So why would the Conservatives want Brexit so badly, given that in truth the UK never at any time lost control or sovereignty to the EU and being a member of the EU was beneficial economically and in terms of life opportunities for ordinary citizens? For this we should refer to Jacob Rees-Mogg's father's book, The Sovereign Individual. The central idea of the book is that in the 21st century the wealthiest people in the world will become Sovereign Individuals, existing beyond the political regulation and tax regimes of nation states, so to utilise all that's good in the world - the resources of the world including ordinary people - solely to maximise their power, status and wealth.
To achieve this they would need to decouple from the controls of Governments while ensuring, for instance, the elimination of regulations, such as those protecting workers and the environment, which could inhibit their ambitions. If any political act has the potential to pave the way for the most privileged in British society to ascend to the status of Sovereign Individual it is Brexit, with its promise of immense deregulation, the sale of public assets to overseas corporations, a low corporate tax economy and instruments such as free ports which would allow those with capital to invest for the purpose of extreme profit to operate outside the confines of the standard economy.
We are a month into Brexit proper and we are already seeing businesses suffer, particularly the smallest. This was inevitable and necessary to the rise of the Sovereign Individual within the UK. As Rees-Mogg senior knew well, increased wealth for the few lies in decreased wealth for the many. Brexit has already taken from British citizens freedom of movement in the EU and Erasmus opportunities for the young. What else it will take remains to be seen, but we can be sure that it won't ever deliver for ordinary people the sunlit uplands of prosperity promised by the most vocal of Brexit advocates.
Ralph Early, Newport
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