Brexit must be halted - before society is damaged for good

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​Campaign gets under way demanding a national debate on reversing Brexit

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18th July 2017 by Graham Martin 8 Comments

Leading figures from across Scottish civil society are demanding a halt to and a reversal of Brexit.

They say it is “always possible to think again and to choose a different direction”, claiming the narrowly carried decision to leave the European Union is undermining society, the economy and politics.

In an open letter, they call for a national debate on ending Brexit – before it is too late and any damage done is irreparable.

The signatories, more than 60 of them, come from across Scottish society and include leading figures in the arts, the media, business and politics.

Among those who have signed the letter are Grahame Smith, general secretary of the STUC, Dr Richard Dixon, director of Friends of the Earth Scotland and Martin Sime, chief executive of the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations.

 The letter states: “We come from a broad range of sectors across our society – business, education, law, politics, public services, unions, NGOs and more.

We see our society, economy and politics becoming ever more undermined due to the impact of Brexit.

“We recognise that a narrow majority voted to leave the European Union, but the disastrous consequences are now becoming ever clearer – every day. Even before the UK has left the EU, we face falling living standards, rising inflation, slowing growth and lower productivity. 

“Our international reputation has been seriously damaged, leaving the UK weak, with diminished influence, in an increasingly uncertain and unstable world.

“EU citizens who have made a huge social and economic contribution to our society have been left in profound uncertainty – many have already left, many more are considering leaving. UK citizens elsewhere in the EU are in an unacceptable limbo too.

“In a democracy, it is always possible to think again and to choose a different direction. We need to think again about Brexit, to have a UK-wide debate about calling a halt to the process and changing our minds.

“The UK has been a major and influential actor in Europe and can be again. We need to have a debate about how to build a better, fairer, more equal society. Then we will be in a position to contribute to an EU-wide debate on creating a fairer, more equal Europe.

“We call for a national debate on Brexit. We ask our fellow citizens, and our politicians, to think again. It is time to call a halt to Brexit.”

change.org petition has also launched to encourage people to sign-up across the UK to halt Brexit.

What do you think? Should – or even can – we halt Brexit – or have the people spoken and that’s the final word? Get the debate going by leaving a comment below.

Comments

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18th July 2017 by Tiiu-Imbi Miller

However much you may think that the people have spoken there is surely no disrespect to them in having a debate. Let's have a proper, inclusive, nation wide debate, and if the majority then still want to leave, so be it, but let's have a debate.

18th July 2017 by RealFreedom

We had the debate, then a vote, and Leave won. What will do far more irreparable damage to civil society is if the public see that the toffs and elite get to reverse any decision that threatens their gravy train.Always knew that SCVO and FoE were anti-democratic, but this just proves it.

19th July 2017 by Sandra Marshall

I believe as I have always believed that this should never have happened in the first place. The UK was treated like a privileged partner within the EU. I believe we should have that national debate but with clarity of information, accountability and the truth on the table.

19th July 2017 by John Cunningham

The so-called "decision by the UK electorate" was actually split with two member nations voting to remain and two to leave - hardly a clear constitutional decision at all. It is becoming increasingly clear that the electorate was largely uninformed and indeed misinformed about what leaving would mean for the future of the nation. In fact we still don't know clearly in any detail other than that the overall effect will be negative. So, once negotiations have reached a point where the picture becomes sufficiently clear as to enable a reasonably well informed decision to be made democracy can, and should, be properly served by way of a further referendum to make a final decision one way or the other. Failure to do this will confirm only that there has been a flawed and undemocratic process for which the nation will pay a very heavy price, possibly for ever, and will undoubtedly in due course also result in the abolition of the UK as a unitary state which will further weaken considerably the influence and strength of each of its constituent nations.

19th July 2017 by Rose Burn

The election a few weeks ago was a vote on Brexit. Across the U.K. the Labour and Conservative parties both argued for Brexit (Corbyn's views are no different to May's) and they won many more votes than the Lib Dems which campaigned for a re-run. Here in Scotland the SNP argued for a 'soft' Brexit and significantly lost votes to the other parties. Individually we may not like the outcome but the electorate had decided.

20th July 2017 by Peter Le Riche

If the Tories had shared their wealth around the population rather than exchanging their wealth between each other we would never have been in this mess. They also tried to drain the EU rather than contribute and help steer it, what a destructive attitude. Ashamed to be associated!

20th July 2017 by KM Simpson

Civil Society should support democracy and not fight it when we don't get what we want.

26th July 2017 by Michaela French

Democracy is democracy. When a vote is cast the result is declared. Whether you like it or not, that is being part of a democracy and those are the rules of those taking part in the vote, you consent to the outcome. Those that ask for another vote are not being democratic they are being disrespectful to believe they are above and know better than the will of the people. Everyone who voted consented to the outcome when they participated in the vote. The will of the people is what decides democracy not some organizations, groups or corporations, the will of the people have spoken. If we don't have democracy as the will of the people we have a tyranny. I thought we were living in a democracy here in the United Kingdom. I think some people have forgotten this most valuable principle.