Pippa Bartolotti, the deputy leader of the Green Party in Wales, and Colin Fox, the National co-spokesperson for the SSP in Scotland join the program.
Pippa start the program by explaining that the latest polls show that people are really confused. "It takes weeks of study to understand what is involved in getting out of the EU, and weeks or months to understand which way one wants to go, so you can't expect the ordinary person in the street to go through that process. They are at the mercy of propaganda; on both sides." Colin also agrees that people are confused, but adds that many are despondent as the debate seems to be confined, he says, to the ‘chattering classes,' and what people are more concerned about is their wages, their insecure employment, their poor housing, their falling standard of living."
Colin makes the point that when people talk about the EU they think that we are leaving Europe. "We are not leaving Europe, we will always be in Europe, we are part of Europe, we are just not in an organization called the European Union…the EU is a club controlled by corporations. It's not the mouthpiece of 550 million Europeans."
Pippa says that the Tory Party has indeed reached a deadlock in negotiations, and the Tory Party concession to pay their bills is not a concession at all, something that should be done. "The kind of heat the media is turning on is just turning people off….We haven't had the certainty that business interests need, we haven't had the certainty that EU nationals need living here [in the UK], and in fact what Brits living abroad need….We need to know where the stake is in the ground." Pippa expresses grave concern in the competence of the UK's negotiators. "I am concerned that we don't have competent negotiators heading up our case, this might indeed be the road towards a hard Brexit. Whether it is planned or not."
A discussion is held as to whether the uncertainty surrounding Brexit is in fact intentional, to prepare the way for a hard Brexit. Whether or not Labour will change its tune on the EU when and if it takes power is also discussed. Colin feels that there is deep suspicion within the Labour party about the intentions and administration of the EU. Colin feels that Jeremy Corbyn's stance reflects this. Pippa feels that there will not be a second referendum but she does thing the door should remain open to a final vote on the terms of leaving. Colin feels that Jeremy Corbyn now seems to be behaving as if he has won the last election, and the Labour Party looks like it is a London-based organization that has little understanding about what is happening in Scotland. Pippa explains that "Labour's confidence is based primarily on the weakness of the Tory Party. … it is going to be a lot more difficult for Corbyn to actually gain power than people think….Voters are no longer loyal, you can't rely on anything, how Brexit is handled will dictate who walks into No 10 next time around."
This is a tricky time to be in power in the UK, and as Pippa mentions, she is not sure that the Labour Party wants the poisonous chalice of Brexit either. As a result, Britain does not seem to have a proper opposition at the present time. There seems to be considerable doubt, however, that Britain will hold another referendum. Britain will leave the EU, the only question that remains to be decided — on what terms. The devil is indeed in the details.
We'd love to get your feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org