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Shropshire Star comment: It's time to move on with Brexit

By Shropshire Star | Opinions | Published:

Disillusionment, dismay and division – the public have spoken out about Brexit and their comments make for grim reading.

Theresa May

People on all sides are sick to the back teeth of the protracted negotiations regarding Brexit, frankly.

Theresa May recognises this and is hoping that MPs will act accordingly when the matter goes to a Parliamentary vote.

Things are unlikely to be that simple, however, and as much as the public wishes the matter to be concluded, there is unlikely to be a harmonious outcome.

Our local MPs have expressed dissatisfaction with Mrs May’s deal, rejecting the principles and outcomes that she is putting to the country.

They do not want the Northern Ireland backstop, they do not believe the deal is in the nation’s long-term interests.

Put more simply, they do not want to be the turkeys that vote for Christmas.

Because the plain facts as given by the Government are these: Mrs May’s soft Brexit will probably make us all slightly worse off, a hard Brexit with no deal will probably make us even worse off.

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The Brexit debate has brought home some unpalatable truths.

Many claim we were promised the impossible by Brexiteers who campaigned for our withdrawal from the EU. They believe that the country has been duped.

Others are unhappy that a remarkable and valid democratic exercise in the Brexit referendum may be in danger of being ignored in favour of another vote – or that a general election may take us on a different path completely.

Time is running out and the debate will not go on forever.

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Division

In a few short weeks our elected representatives will decide whether to approve Mrs May’s deal and bring an end to the chaos and misery or whether to reject it.

If they say no, there will be yet more rancour, division and uncertainty.

Businesses, who depend on stable trading conditions, will be left wondering what to do next.

The public will face even more unhappiness as the debate continues to rage.

In the final analysis, we must accept the following immutable truth.

We are divorcing the EU and there is no such thing as a happy divorce. As much as some might pretend things aren’t so bad, the truth is seldom that simple.

There are arguments over who gets the house or who has access to the kids, who keeps the car and who gets the dog.

And our divorce from the EU is no different.

The rights that we’ve taken for granted for so long are now at an end.

And the frictionless trade upon which many businesses depend could soon change.

Critics say that could lead to queues at Dover, stockpiles of medical equipment and worse. That is unlikely as Europe needs the UK just as the UK needs Europe.

But what is true is that we are going to have to get used to a new relationship with the EU, as friends and partners but also with a valuable sense of independence.

In negotiation, there’s a truism that must always be observed: we seldom get all of the things we might like. And so the outcome of a good negotiation usually involves us ceding some ground in order to move forward and take advantage of new opportunities. That is the place we’re in now and that’s the judgement MPs will make when they vote in the Commons.

There are other options, of course, but none are satisfactory.

Yes we could go back to the polls, extend Article 50 or simply fall out of the EU and accept the consequences.

No solution will make everyone happy. But it is time for politicians to get on with it.

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