A Modest Proposal
Regardless of the political outcome of the Brexit debacle, the depressing reality is that the people will remain divided. Like Swift’s Tramecksans and Slamecksans, who could not agree on the correct height of a heel, Remainers will continue to be Remainers and Leavers will continue to be Leavers, united only by their mutual loathing. Unless there’s a civil war, that’s how things will most likely stay, at least until this generation of adults dies of old age.
As the cold war between Insularity and Openness drags on, fracturing the polity and destroying the good reputation of a once noble nation, reasonable citizens of both constituencies must surely agree on one thing : a house thus divided cannot stand.
If the Brexiters have their way, the result will be the breakup of the United Kingdom. Northern Ireland and Scotland will eventually leave to rejoin the E.U., and Ireland will reunify. Even the most diehard of Brexiters would privately admit that this would be a Pyrrhic victory.
If Remainers win, however, the result will be uproar, as those who voted Brexit take to the streets in a campaign of insurrection that won’t be entirely unjustified. The consequences to the Union are hard to predict, but unlikely to be pleasant.
Both these outcomes are the result of a flawed referendum; but one thing we cannot change is that the referendum actually happened, millions of people voted in it, and they’re not going to give up, regardless of the result of any future referendum.
So why not accept this division, and try to figure out a solution that respects the result of the E.U. referendum, but lets both sides get what they want ?
Ladies and Gentlemen, may I modestly propose the creation of the twin Duchies of Brexitland and Remainia.
If a borough voted Leave in the referendum, it automatically becomes part of the Duchy of Brexitland, and institutes a Racial Purity Directive. All residents undergo a mandatory genetic test, and those shown to be of less than (say) 95% Anglo-Saxon descent would be evicted from their homes, let go from their jobs (if employed by a Brexitland-based company) and resettled in Remainia. In all other respects, life would carry on as before.
Boroughs that voted Remain in the referendum become a part of the Duchy of Remainia. Remainia would immediately adopt full free movement of E.U. citizens with all benefits, house relocated ex-Brexitland citizens and their businesses, accept the Euro as legal tender, and then get on with life as it was before.
And what of parliament ? Quite simply, it would carry on as it has before, with one simple difference; all votes would have two results, one applicable in Brexitland, and the other in Remainia, based on counts among their respective MPs. To make the count go faster, they would wear different coloured hats or something.
Since the continued economic success of Brexitland and Remainia would depend on trade, there would be no border between Brexitland and Remainia (which would anyway be unworkable). This creates a problem, in that goods and produce made in Brexitland wouldn’t necessarily meet E.U. standards. The solution is simple; mandatory labelling of all goods with a sticker indicating its Duchy of Origin. Consumers in Remainia would then be free to decide whether to buy “unsafe” products made in Brexitland, and those in Brexitland could choose to eschew products made by foreigners.
Because there would be no border, non-Brexitland “tourists” could continue to travel through Brexitland, marvelling at quaint cottages, motorway service stations and Turneresque landscapes; they just wouldn’t be allowed to buy property, take employment, or rent an AirBnB for more than two weeks.
Since the twin Duchies would both still be a part of the United Kingdom, the armed forces would continue to operate as before, defending the entirety of the Kingdom regardless of Duchy Of Origin of individual soldiers or regiments.
Every five years, a nationwide referendum (appended to the ballot paper at the General Election) would allow citizens to vote on whether to switch between Brexitland and Remainia. If a borough voted to switch from Brexitland to Remainia, all pre-Brexitland property ownership, employment and residency rights would revert to their original state.
Uniting the Kingdom
If there’s one thing everyone agrees on, it’s that we’re all fed up to the back teeth of hearing about Brexit; we want it to go away and for things to get back to normal.
However, such is the dimension of the current omnishambles that literally any rational path forward leads into eternal, ever deepening quicksand.
There are those quislings, to be sure, that would shrink from the upheavals sure to be caused by this somewhat radical proposal. But when all reasonable recourse has failed, radicalism is the only reasonable recourse.
Ladies and Gentlemen : We must Divide this Kingdom in order to Unite it.
For the complete avoidance of doubt, this is a clumsy attempt at satire…