Tuesday, 18 October 2016

The Guardian: Why are Brexiters trying to shut down debate? Because they’re scared

The Guardian: Why are Brexiters trying to shut down debate? Because they’re scared

by Ian Birrell

"These are inconsequential incidents involving minor figures, but they indicate a hardening intolerance of open discussion as the nation sets out towards its new destination. Look at how the BBC has come under attack, there is pressure on the Bank of England governor, and a firm that sought to put up prices on food became a political football. Knives are out for Philip Hammond, the chancellor, bizarrely accused of “arguing like an accountant seeing the risk of everything” for trying to protect the economy rather than pressing blithely ahead with Brexit. Bear in mind we are just at the start of the difficult process of extraction from the EU, with many bumps and potholes on the path ahead.

There can be just one reason those pushing Britain in this direction want to close down debate: a dawning realisation for them of the harsh reality of Brexit. Until now they have displayed breezy insouciance since their triumph, in some cases allied to foolish arrogance towards fellow Europeans with whom they must negotiate. Yet they have struggled to define a clear vision that stands up to analysis. Why else would they lack confidence to engage with their critics?

We have learned already the claim there would be a £350m-a-week boost for the NHS was simply a brazen lie. Now we see that Brexit means a plunging pound, rising food prices and potentially paying billions to Brussels to protect bankers. Leavers did not tell this to voters. Yet those who point out the difficulties of detaching a complex major economy from the octopus-like EU tentacles are condemned, just as they were previously charged with Project Fear by those people preaching a naive vision of spurious sovereignty."Why are Brexiters trying to shut down debate? Because they’re scared

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