Being on sabbatical in Vietnam whilst reading the BBC news and progress on shambolic and frankly worrying Brexit negotiations, made me think a little of a local analogy.
In Hanoi, Vietnam, we stayed at a hotel that had a breakfast menu which included a BLT (bacon lettuce tomato) bahn mì (baguette). I ordered it expecting:
- A baguette containing bacon, lettuce and tomato. (Obviously)
However, what as delivered was:
- A baguette containing bacon, 1/2 omelette, cucumber & tomato
This is not what I ordered. Or this is not what I expected to receive when I ordered the BLT. But, I ate it, as I don’t mind these ingredients (as long as I had pulled off all the soggy cucumber first).
But what about if they delivered me:
The American breakfast. Bacon, omelette, toast, tomato, lettuce and chips. Would I have been happy with that? Some of the ingredients are actually closer to the BLT I ordered, but it is a fundamentally different breakfast. If everyone knew, at the time of their order, that by ordering a BLT baguette, they would be served an American breakfast. Would they have still have ordered the baguette?
What did Brexiters vote for?
And this is why it makes me think about Brexit. No-one really explained to the majority of Brexiters what Brexit really meant. No, the Leave Campaign put it on the menu masquerading as the £350m that we send to the EU a week, will be diverted to fund the NHS (which they confessed was a lie the day after the vote), many people used the opportunity as a protest vote (that backfired), that Britain would take back control of their borders using immigration scaremongering (when most of the immigration they are worried about is mostly from outside the EU and already within the government’s control!).
Not getting what you thought you ordered
And then May has the audacity to say ‘Brexit means Brexit‘. No, dammit, the people who ordered their BLT got an American breakfast! This is NOT what so many of the Brexiters voted for. But their egos are so great, that before they potentially make the biggest and most expensive mistake of Britain’s history, they’re not going to go back for a second opinion? Just double check that order. If you were buying a house worth £250k, would you not spend a bit more money on a good building survey to ensure that what you think you’re buying really is what you are buying? If you found out that there are fundamental problems with the house that will cost thousands of pounds to fix, would you want the option not to go through with the sale?
So why is this government willing to spend £15b-£60b of taxpayers money on a deal that doesn’t necessarily reflect what the population wants? But not willing to spend £100m – £150m on a further referendum once they know what the final deal is, to double check that this is really what the people want?
I bet you, that if there were another referendum, it would be the highest voter turnout in history, and certainly the highest youth vote turnout!
If we were given the chance to vote again, based on a final deal, the public may choose LEAVE again, but at least we will then know that they chose it knowing the final deal. But, perhaps they will choose REMAIN. But, I guess we will never know.