/ Money

Concerns grow over Brexit, food prices and the pound

Brexit

Our latest research reveals that the public are growing increasingly concerned about the impact of leaving the EU. As such, we want to know, what are your Brexit concerns and what do you think the benefits of Brexit could be?

In the weeks following the vote, Which? gave advice about people’s finances and their questions about holidays. In fact, the main point that we consistently made was that nothing has yet changed, apart from the clear and well reported hit to the pound caused by uncertainty in the markets.

Navigating change

The referendum result has had an impact on me both personally and professionally. I’ve lived in Brussels for over 15 years – I got married there, had a baby there and have spent my professional life working to influence EU policy across a range of subjects.

As a British citizen abroad, I’ve become one of the ‘bargaining chips’ with an uncertain future.

But, what hasn’t changed is that the EU continues to have a major role in UK policy and as such my day-to-day work continues. I still spend my days meeting political stakeholders, representing Which? for UK consumers on a European Commission expert panel and highlighting their needs in relation to specific policy.

I also meet with elected officials, the infamous MEPs in the European Parliament. The UK has 73 MEPs working across a variety of issues, so we provide input and examples where the UK is doing good work.

But, what has changed is the amount of focus we’re now placing on ensuring the best possible outcome for UK consumers.

And, this is where hearing from you is key to making sure we’re getting it right. Our research in particular is a really important tool for us as it helps us to tell political stakeholders what consumers are most concerned about. Our latest research shows nearly half of people (47%) are worried about the impact of Brexit. This is an 8% rise since our September survey.

In fact, we found that people are increasingly worried about the price of food (58%), the value of sterling (53%) and the price of holidays (39%).

Addressing concerns

We’ve found that there are concerns about how effectively consumers will be represented during the negotiations, and that’s where Which? comes in – we’re doing our best to push for the government to place consumers at the heart of its negotiations and to set out how they will champion consumers’ interests.

In addition to discussions we’ve been having with our members, we’ve been working behind the scenes to assess how legislation will be affected, ramping up intelligence gathering and looking at how different sectors such as energy, transport, food and financial services could change for consumers.

As well as the areas we campaign in, as you can imagine, there are many other areas that we haven’t previously focused, mainly because the EU was somewhat of a secondary safety net/backstop.

Getting your voice heard

In the coming months, we want to see assurances that existing consumer rights, such as rules on mobile roaming or flight compensation, and protections, such as food and product safety, will not be watered down. And we also want to see the Government setting out how consumers will benefit as we start to forge new relationships outside of the EU.​

​These assurances are critical because consumer confidence​ is critical to the UK economy. And this is why ​putting consumer needs ​at the centre of the negotiations ​is critical for the UK.

As we continue to form our position on a number of issues related to Brexit, we’re keen to hear from you what you think it’s important for us to focus on. Do you agree with the findings of our survey? Is there anything that you think is missing?

Comments

Whenever there are changes or proposed changes people seem to have second thoughts about them it happens with everything what could or should have been done differently people are wise after the event always

A question on Prime Minister’s Questions this week:

There has been much talk recently about paying for access to a tariff-free single market. I think that that is a very good idea. Given that the UK is the fifth-biggest economy in the world and we have a £70 billion trade deficit with the EU, would the excellent acting Prime Minister tell the House how much the EU should pay for tariff-free access to the UK’s single market?

Lawnranger says:
13 December 2016

At last! Well said!
When you remember how a small part of Belgium held up the trade agreement the EU was trying to negotiate with Canada we are deluding ourselves if we believe twenty-seven disgruntled countries will be amenable to anything we propose short of paying them the same and letting them all in. Why not find a way to just quit and slap an immediate 25% tariff on BMW, Audi, Mercedes, Volkswagen? The government can then add the income raised to the the £250M net saving to reimburse our exporters to the EU and still have money left over. I think we will be amazed (except I won’t be!) how fast Germany assembles a legal team to put forward a package (which the rest of the EU won’t dare to question) for our approval . I voted YES to the Common Market in 1975 and would do so again today, but I was lied to and they intended a federal Europe all along.
Someone who has served should remind our government, “No battle plan has ever survived contact with the enemy!”

Britain has slipped from fifth to sixth already, we are now behind France. How much further are we going to fall?

Vanessa says:
11 December 2016

Great post. Like you, I am a UK passport holder outside of the UK. Friends back in the UK already seem to be noticing higher prices in the supermarket. In the news lately there has been mention of those families who are working, yet poor, and that people who are in work are nonetheless making use of food-banks. May said that she would be focusing on families like this when she came to power, but -despite this happening in the context of Brexit -she has not once addressed how she will do this within the framework of an exit plan. The truth is that she does not care about such families, nor about those (both employed and unemployed) who need to rely on food-banks, and she doesn’t have a plan. She is far more focussed on her attempts bypass democracy and get Parliament out of the process by which the UK leaves the EU.

Roger Francke says:
13 December 2016

change doesn’t happen overnight especially when different hurdles are put in the way to hold up the democratic vote of the people. A referendum is a democratic vote. Why are people arguing the toss about democracy when all that is happening is people trying to delay it.

Democracy is not a once and for ever thing. People’s views change over time. So it is not unreasonable to have a referendum on the Brexit details before a final decision is made.

I believe the drop in the value of the pound, and related price rises, was a long overdue market adjustment that would have happened at some point regardless of Brexit. Perhaps if we imported less and had less globalisation such an exchange rate drop would impact our prices less. So I welcome leaving the EU to get back more self control and am not fearful. However I am a fan of a united Europe one day, when the members in it are more equal. I probably won’t see that in my lifetime.
As for what Which! reps in the EU could do for UK consumers, I think they need to ensure we don’t lose the benefits that the EU did bring to the UK. However, as this will largely be in the hands of the UK government I think that’s where the focus of pressure should be placed. The EU focus should be to stop the Commission from being petulant and applying punitive measures to the UK so as to discourage others from exiting the EU.

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I agree with Polly Toynbee when she says that “Brexit is the greatest threat to national wellbeing since the war”. I would go further and say that I fear that we all of us on the European continent have only gone a few steps up since the war with still a mountain to climb (see the rise of the far right everywhere – remember, Hitler was democratically elected) and that with Brexit we have gone steps back down again and are now hanging on at the edge of a deep, deep ravine. I appreciate that this isn’t the forum, but you ask us about our increasing concern, and I have to say that mine isn’t primarily a consumer’s.

Having got this off my chest, I quite obviously hope that Which? is able in future to help us keep our existing consumers rights and is able to help us acquire new ones as necessary. And we’ll support as we can.

Ian Ellis says:
14 December 2016

Sorry I can’t agree with you Sophie. Europe is a mess and one of the biggest threats to western society is their refusal to face up to the issues. As the only English language (now, like it or not, the world language) country in Europe with free medical care and a relatively high standard of living we are a magnet for immigration. This has undoubtedly benefited us but it now needs to be controlled.
The Euro has been a disaster for the poorer European countries giving them a short term boom then total bust. However it has been wonderful for Germany which has been able to keep it’s currency low but is not happy with the idea of subsidising the poorer countries, hence the current Greek/Italian/Portugal etc problems. Massive debts, unemployment and the rise of the disenchanted extreme
Why do most small countries want to stay in the EEC? Because most are benefiting from it with i.e not net contributors.
Britain is one of the biggest net contributors and one of the worlds biggest economies whilst I don’t grudge our being kind to our neighbours we need to face up to reality ourselves, we can’t keep spending on relatively cheap European imports and holidays with borrowed money.
Europe’s politicians have refused to recognise the specific issues Britain has over the remaining countries and as a result we have been forced to call it a day. If they had acted less like petulant children when David Cameron tried to solve the problem I suspect we might not have voted for Brexit. The latest example of their stupidity is refusal to discuss our leaving till A50. Obviously hoping that as they will never be able to agree anything (as their will always be a vested interest from someone) we will be panicked into accepting a sub-optimal deal.
With a massive budget deficit we can afford to say NO.

And I can’t agree with you Ian. Europe has its problems but the biggest threat to western society is fragmentation caused by people who think you can solve problems by turning your back on them and pretending they are not there. Faced with an aggressive Russia that is against everything we stand for and huge emerging economic powers like China and India that owe us nothing and basically want to eat our lunch, we need our European friends more than ever. I know my history and my economics. Every time Britain has tried turning its back on Europe the result has been disastrous and every time we have engaged fully we have made things better, for everyone, ourselves included. Oh, and if you think the Americans will help us experience says they only ever do so reluctantly and late when they think it is in their own interests. If we had got involved with the Euro in the first place instead of standing aloof it would have been better designed and better run. The same is true of almost all the issues Europe is grappling with. It is in our interests to be fully involved and to help design and implement the solutions.
In the 70s we were heading for the third world. We no longer had an empire and our once great industries were in terminal decline. Remember textiles, coal, steel shipbuilding, the British car industry? They have all gone and they are not coming back. What saved us was joining the EU and taking advantage of everything it had to offer, mainly on the back of investment by foreigners using the UK as an EU base. Later our financial industry carved out a large slice of European business protected by the EUROPEAN COURT from attempts to lock it out by continental countries. These new Europe-dependant industries are what now pays our wages and the taxes that fund our public services and they are all at jeopardy from Bexit.
In contrast to the benefits brought by the EU we have lots of problems in this country caused by the incompetence of our own government. The housing crisis, the elderly care crisis, the emerging energy crisis, under-investment in the regions, under funded healthcare and education, chaotic public transport and roads, the poisonous air in our cities etc. etc. are all entirely the fault of our own government, not the EU and not immigrants.
The idea that Brexit will ‘give us our country back’ is the biggest laugh of all. Most of us have never had any real control over the people who run things. The unrepresentative voting system and the party system make sure of that. Until we put own house in order, which no one in Europe is stopping us from doing, leaving the EU will not solve any of our problems, it will make them all worse.

Steve Winterberg says:
14 December 2016

Oh dear, so because Hitler was elected we should stay in the EU.. What tommyrot! Mine certainly isn’t as a consumer either – It is my democratic right to vote for my lawmakers and one doesn’t with the EU. Self-determination and democracy come a long way in front of mere money, unless of course you are angling for space at the EU trough too.

Although I do not like the undemocratic way in which laws and regulations in general are promulgated by unelected European Commissioners, quite a large number of these within the areas of employment rights and consumer protection have been good for our people. When we exit and ‘take back control’, can we be sure that some of these that have been beneficial are to be re-incorporated back into British Law? My fear is that not all will be. Currently we have a government that wishes to exercise ‘prerogative’ over a parliamentary vote – is this not also undemocratic?
My other fear is that once we know what terms have been agreed for us leaving, we, the people, may not be given a chance to vote on whether we accept them or not. Surely, in the name of true democracy, we (or parliament) should be given the opportunity to do so after we know the true cost of our new future.

There are, I think, some odd arguments being put forward on Brexit. Some say that all the referendum was was an “opinion poll” to sound out the mood of the people. Well that was not the way it was portrayed – I took it to be a vote on stay or leave, and voted on the basis that whatever the result that is what parliament should act on. It was not an opinion poll, nor was the result then to be contingent upon “suitable terms”; it was a vote – as it turned out – to leave and I find it quite undemocratic that some who disagree with the result now want to treat it otherwise.

When we have a general election, and one party achieves the majority of seats, do we then say “well, OK, but we will only accept the result when we agree with all their policies” (who takes any notice of manifestos that are not pledges). Or, when the Scottish referendum on independence was held, was that just to seek a view on public opinion, not a decision on whether to become independent or not (at the time)?

We voted to leave by a majority. Some areas wanted a different result, just like in a general election, but the majority view in a democracy holds sway. Now we all need parliament to work on getting the best possible terms but we cannot do that in public and tell the hostile Europeans what we are doing. What kind of a negotiating process would that be? Like playing bridge with all the cards on the table. We need the political parties to work together behind closed doors to agree as far as possible the terms on which we want to proceed, to have those terms discussed, and to then agree on what inevitably will be compromises.

So the sooner we put article into effect and start negotiations the sooner we can start the new era.

I doubt we will go back on sensible laws that the EU has introduced. We will have to abide by EN product standards and CE marking to trade with them for example, and observe car emissions standards for similar reasons. Many countries in the EU have economic problems worse than ours and disenchantment to varying degrees with the way the EU works. Whether other countries will take the same route as the UK remains to be seen but I don’t think the EU will stay in the same format in future. Nor, despite their unpleasant pronouncements in public (what else can they say) will the EU finally see it in their interests to cut off the UK.

Malcolm, your view on what constitutes a democracy is seriously at odds with the democratic nature of politics in the UK – never mind the EU.

Too many issues to address in one post, but one of the main planks of the Brexiteers was to ‘regain the sovereignty of Parliament.’ That would seem to suggest that they wanted out of the EU so that the UK Parliament could have the final say on everything to do with the UK. Now, given how seriously misinformed they were, anyway (as though the UK didn’t have a say in how the EU works) the current legal wrangle is about exactly that: giving Parliament the final say. Strangely, when it seems that they might get their way, they no longer seem to want it. Does that make any sense?

The word “Democracy” is somewhat flexible in its various implementations, and certainly doesn’t mean what you seem to think it does in the UK. I cannot remember the last time any UK Government was elected by a majority of the electorate. It’s almost always a minority.

We don’t have a constitution in the UK, either, so Precedent and Parliament dictate (on the basis of Laws dating back to the Magna Carta) how the UK is governed and the UK has never enacted a law which states it governs by plebiscite. Thus any referendum has no basis in law whatsoever.

As for your hope that we won’t “go back on sensible laws that the EU has introduced” the UK government already has, with the most recent legislation, dubbed the ‘Snooper’s Charter’. That legislation, I suspect, will be the subject of numerous appeals to the ECHR – as long as we remain a signatory to that treaty.

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Whatever the technical legal arguments now being raised (why were they not raised before the referendum) the question asked of the UK people was whether we wanted to stay in the EU or leave. We voted to leave. That we should try to go back on that is wrong. The focus should now be on implementing that decision and making the necessary arrangements for a post-brexit UK.

Of those who voted a real majority chose to leave. In Scotland a real majority of those who voted chose to stay in the Union. In a general election we have accepted that a party that can form a majority government, whether independently or in coalition, will hold power – although I would prefer to see this decided on votes cast not seats won. But how else would you seek a “democratic” decision?

There are several options, really, but that’s not the point. It ought to have been definitively stated at the outset what would have been done, and there ought to have been criminal cases mounted against those who told outright lies during the campaign. It exposed a deep division among the electorate, but more importantly it proved conclusively that most politicians (certainly those who led the campaign to leave) are in it for their own short-term ends.

At least we have the Advertising Standards Authority to deal with the worst examples of misrepresentation by companies, albeit not until the damage has been done. I agree with Ian that we need to take action against politicians that have lied to us, but have no idea of how this can be achieved before the damage has been done.

The art of politics seems, in the main, to know how to be economical with the truth, how to deceive, and how to lie to retain power and achieve your ends. If lying were a criminal offence we’d have a very thin presence in the house.

I have managed to get through life so far exercising a reasonable degree of integrity, responsibility and truthfulness. I have rarely cheated, I have paid my way, and admit to not being perfect. However when I look at how others in power behave I am drawn to the conclusion that there is a split – two kinds of people exist, those with integrity and those without. Am I the only one to think this?

I don’t see being economical with the truth as acceptable, whether we are discussing politics or advertising by companies. Being honest may command more respect.

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Our forefather paid with their lives for our freedom, so a small increase in prices, if that even happens, is a price worth paying to get our country back. In the medium and long term, Britain will be far better off outside the EU, with a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the EU, because it’s more in their interest than ours, along with FTAs with the US, AU, NZ, IN, CA etc., plus controlling our borders, making our own laws, getting back our territorial waters for fishing and saving £Billions that would otherwise dissapear into the corrupt EU. Which are just continueing Project Fear, which is yet to happen.

British constitutional law and convention is actually quite clear on the relevant points. In the UK the fundamental principles are (1) Parliament is Supreme and (2) Parliament has no power to bind its successors (which, if you think about it follows from 1). These principle were established 300 years ago.
What this means is that whatever politicians may say when it suits them a referendum is and can only ever be advisory. A referendum may be provided for by act of Parliament and the result may be implemented by act of Parliament but it is for Parliament to decide and Parliament may decide to do otherwise, whatever its previous position. Furthermore an act of Parliament means both the Commons and the Lords and has to follow a set procedure during which MPs and Peers have the right and duty to debate the detail and change it if they see fit including imposing limits and conditions on the act.
In this country the government has no authority except a majority in Parliament. The Prime Minister and the rest are not directly elected and have no mandate to do anything except through Parliament.
All of this should have been made clear before the referendum but the waters were deliberately muddied by politicians for their own purposes. It may have escaped some people’s notice but it was pretty obvious that the whole referendum business was about trying to avoid a split in the Tory party and fend off UKIP during the last general election.
It is very concerning that for their own purposes politician’s, particularly Teresa May’s government are now undermining constitutional law and procedure for their own narrow purposes. The privilege to override Parliament that they are now trying to seek before the court is the privilege one Stuart King lost his head over and another lost his crown over in 1688.
Let’s get back to basics. We live in a Parliamentary democracy, however imperfect. The voting public has a right to change its mind. Parliament has a right to change its mind. It is not undemocratic to suggest that Parliament should insist the goverment make clear their proposals for Brexit, scrutinise those proposals and modify or limit them if they (Parliament) see fit. It is not undemocratic either, in fact it would be both democratic and honest (for once) if the public had the chance to vote on the actual proposed arrangements for Brexit rather than the unreal, untested fantasies that were put before them last time.
That means there should be a second referendum on the actual Brexit deal.
Don’t forget that a future government, supported by Parliament could bring the Brexit process to an immediate holt or could re-join the EU.

This all avoids the problem of how you negotiate a settlement that is good for the UK if everything you suggest is made public – to the EU of course – before we actually reach a settlement. It might look right in principle but is simply not realistic when you have an adversarial EU who also, no doubt, live in fear of other states following the UK’s lead.. The supreme Court will decide whether what was done was lawful. Parliament seems to have backed the Government. Are we now not just wasting time?

Graham says:
15 December 2016

Lets say that you got the second referendum on the actual Brexit deal, it tuened out to be a ‘hard Brexit and the result was 52%-48% to leave, would you then be satisfied? I think the answer would be no you wouldn’t, there would be more court cases, more whining that we didn’t know what we were voting for, we are all racists/xenophobic/unintelligent N***s.
The truth is the majority of people that voted to remain in the EU will never, under any circumstances accept it, because of their sheer arrogance of entitlement has been destroyed, clearly displayed by the fact that there were no exit plans pre referendum, they were that confident (arrogance) of winning a remain vote.
I voted to come out in the first referendum in 1975, nothing I have seen about being a member of the EU has changed my mind since then, I am happy I got the chance to try and secure a better global trading future for our youngsters instead of an inward looking isolationist EU political superstate that is declining in popularity as I type,

“As such, we want to know, what are your Brexit concerns and what do you think the benefits of Brexit could be?”

Perhaps I am being dense but I am surprised that when TTIP was live pre-Brexit it was verboten subject with nary a Conversation or survey. As they both had potential effects on the consumers of the UK why the policy change?

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I don’t imagine that most of the public knew a lot about TTIP, despite its importance. On the other hand we had a referendum about whether we remained in the EU or left. Which? tends to focus on issues that the public is more engaged with. That’s my interpretation.

It stands to reason that when we leave Europe our relationship will not be the same. Negotiations will take place, but the outcome will mean a different set of parameters and it certainly won’t be business as usual whether we pay Europe for market access or not. Those who voted for us to leave have got to abide by their majority whether they are worried or not. Like Europe, they can’t have it both ways and second thoughts don’t count. Those who voted to remain can only hope that things pan out reasonably well in our efforts to go global. This great uncertainty about what is to be negotiated and what deal, if any, will come from these negotiations makes the whole debate very speculative. It will continue to be so until those in power have decided what they actually want to ask for. Last month a BBC Question Time audience member shouted out that it was time the government acted and we left the E.U. right away. I wanted to ask him what he meant by “left” and what “right away” ,( which in his mind meant tomorrow), would look like. I suspect that the intricacies of leaving are mind bogglingly complicated and shutting up shop is not just pulling down the blinds. I also suspect that the civil service are overwhelmed by the task that faces them and this is why the government has set a March deadline in the hope that they can catch up by then. This” secret negotiation” stance is probably a cover for this. I fear that from now on and for some years to come, the cost of living will rise, simply because we shall be a poorer nation and things will be more expensive to import. Other ramifications, like the departure of Scotland, also seem likely, once the dust has settled. I wonder too whether leaving Europe will have any impact on immigration. That issue won’t go away post brexit until the then government legislates. That is going to be a very difficult time and not the magic wand that some thought they had waved on June 23rd. WE can only watch and wait.

My main concern remains that the referendum split the nation. I believe that we now face a time of the greatest uncertainty since WW2, which has before I was born.

I couldn’t agree more.

Don’t all such votes show a split – Conservatives vs. Labour in a general election, stay vs. independence in Scotland for example. I’m not sure I’d call it a split. I suspect many who voted in the EU referendum had no strong feelings either way, just slightly preferred one side of the fence to the other.

Oh – the feelings were strong, very strong.

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FT ” Argentina says Falklands no longer main issue in UK relationship
Foreign minister Susana Malcorra says trade and investment are more important”

OEC “The top export destinations of Spain are France ($41.7B), Germany ($31.7B), Portugal ($25.2B), the United Kingdom ($22B) and Italy ($21.7B). The top import origins are Germany ($43.3B), France ($35.2B), China ($25.9B), Italy ($21.2B) and the United Kingdom ($14.5B).” Would Spain want to prejudice $8bn?

I don’t of course know the answer. Who does till it becomes a reality?

Rocky says:
13 December 2016

So did those who voted for Brexit assume we could just sign a piece of paper and throw out half a century of laws and all our trading systems? Of course it is a long term mess with pro-Brexit leaders not having a clue how to proceed. Now we have a right wing Government without a care for the poor or the environment, both of which will suffer whatever the outcome.

L Betts says:
13 December 2016

Each member state pays a percentage of the national VAT or sales tax to the EU. No online info on just what is the percentage that the UK or any other state pays. Surely when and if we no longer need to pay membership this percentage of VAT should come back as a reduced VAT rate. This is a direct benefit to consumers but no one has mentioned it.
I wrote to my local MP asking for a precise figure. The answer referred to a “percentage” of all nationally paid VAT going to the EU but no figure, not even a ball park figure.
I think this matter should be brought up.

I am, in all honesty, absolutely furious that so many people disregard the leave vote. I was done democratically and the leave vote was in the majority. Why can’t you accept that. It seems that all your remain voters are determined to have tantrums and throw your toys out of the pram. I voted for my country, I wanted it back. Away from all the petty laws Brussels dreamed up. Away from a potential Federal Europe which is what it would have come to eventually.

I also think we should curb the influx of migrants. Did you know that every 10 minutes somebody in this country is homeless. We should look after our own. Building houses seems to be a priority but who are they for; not for our own already homeless people. Whatever their circumstances, migrant or otherwise, should be taken care of before we take in any more. It can’t be done with any sensibility, we are a small island and can’t take any more commitments which are a drain on our resources and more importantly, our NHS. Our old people are already suffering from underfunding.

Whilst I can sympathise with others concerned about rise in food prices I can assure you that we can be self sufficient. We are at our best with our backs to the wall; we have done it before and we can do it again. I am proud of my country and would like it back before it is eaten away by every other country who wants to take us over. We will survive of that I am certain; have faith.

[This comment has been edited to align with our Community Guidelines. Thanks, mods]

Roger Francke says:
13 December 2016

I voted to leave to get control of our country back with proper democracy and politicians voted into power by the people. I don’t care that it might cost me plenty of money. The current system is at the cost of my freedom. Europe has ruined our standards and our people. In 10 years time we will be much better of from every viewpoint

Exactly! ‘The current system is at the cost of my freedom’. (cue Remainers saying what do you mean by freedom). Remain supporters throw their hands up in horror at the thought of their precious trips to Euroland being (ever so slightly) more expensive, having to pay roaming charges again (buy another sim card then ffs or turn the phone off) and the possibility of getting visas or showing passports again (however did we manage to travel before the Common Market?!). The thing is Roger, many people not wanting to leave the EU are just simply not old enough to have lived in an independent Britain and so dont know any better.

One of the real problems with voting for Brexit is that you did not know what Britain would look like after leaving the UE and what the costs might be. It is commonly stated that the desire to control immigration, reduce spending and reverse the central control imposed by Europe were strong motivators for the leave campaigners. However, it is far from clear if any of these will actually happen and more importantly how they might be balanced during negotiations. For example, in order to get access to the single market we may need to agree to the free movement of people. However, if you voted to leave to curtail immigration the very reason for your voting to leave may not actually come about. All in all those who voted leave have voted for an unknown, unknowable and uncertain outcome. What is worrying is if they reflect on their decision to leave in the light of the way it works out and end up saying: “If I knew this was going to happen we would never have voted to leave”.
So the one thing we are really certain about is that the whole thing is uncertain. Brace yourself because you may not get what you voted for.

On the other hand, many may have decided they simply no longer wanted to be part of Europe. If they had been so concerned about the clear uncertainty and the consequences they may not have voted the way they did. Did the “join Europe” referendum, or the Scottish independence referendum, not carry the same uncertainties?

If we are a strong country – as we currently seem to be – then we will survive. People will want to trade with us because of what we offer. Immigration was not a factor when I was voting and I wonder if far too much has been made of the assumption that it was. I’m happy to see people come to this country. What I am not happy about is if they do so simply to live off our benefits system, so that is what needs sorting out, and what the EU sought to sabotage. Maybe others resented that as well.

I know exactly what we would look like after leaving the EU because I lived in a completely independent UK for about the first 2 decades of my life and in a European Common Market for about 2 decades or so after that. The country governed itself perfectly well without relying on the help of politicians, courts and judges in other countries. You would have nothing to fear whatsoever, nothing significant to lose and everything to gain.

People are always concerned about change. It’s much easier to stick in the comfortable rut of the status quo long after its best before date. Many of the (ex) remainder’s claims do not stand up to scrutiny, and I believe more people are now seeing Brexit as an opportunity rather than a threat. It is not realistic to expect the government to lay it’s strategy before parliament. Every decision is going to be up for negotiation with the rest of the EU, some we will win, some we will lose. That’s the negotiating game.
I have complete confidence that the government will do it’s utmost to get the best deal possible for the UK and the best way forward is to give them the space to get on with it unfettered by petty quibbles.

Hear! Hear! Graham.

I find it unbelievable that week after week in PMQs the ‘children’ stand up and demand to know the exit strategy.

Week after week they get the same answer. Do they really think laying our cards on the table before negotiations with the EU will get us the best deal?

I agree, Alfa. This demand to know the choreography of exit is a false concern that is being used for purely party political purposes, just to create another distraction to argue about. There probably is no specific plan or timetable yet and whatever is attempted will have to bend and swivel with the negotiations. It would be more helpful if the complainers would set out a list of the things they want to achieve under “the best deal for Britain”; they won’t do that, of course, – they want to be able in due course to peck away at whatever terms do emerge.

I find it disgraceful our elected politicians put their own selfish self-interests before the interests of our country at a time when it needs to work together to create a better future.

If they cannot carry out the will of the people, they should resign.

I see that someone has been sufficiently inspired by our departure from the EU to write a book:

The price seems to be falling as fast as the value of the pound.

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We also have the ability to laugh at ourselves, or at least some of us do. That’s better than modesty, in my view.

I don’t give a dam about the single market, I voted out along with 17000000 others, it’s not about the economy it’s about our rights about governing ourselves making our own laws deporting undesirables stopping people coming in just to use & abuse our health services & people coming in just to claim off the state. Other countries will be wanting to have trade agreements with us & that enclueds most of the EU .

The wishes of English and Welsh voters should be fully respected and listened too as these nations head toward Brexit. The voices of the Northern Irish and Scots must also be heard. As a non – Nationalist Scot I respect the decisive voice of our nation to remain.
On this issue there is no United Kingdom. Our voice will be heard.

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So should London stay in the EU (they voted for)? And other regions? Or my neighbours? We are currently one United Kingdom and should act accordingly. If the other countries choose independence in the future then they can make their own choices.