Those of us who live in London have, if we read the Evening Standard, to put up with little George Osborne jumping up and down with delight whenever he discovers anyone, however obscure, who predicts bankruptcy for the UK as the inevitable result of Brexit. OK, I know Osborne is not tiny, but he can’t help always seeming to be a titch.
But I honestly don’t believe Osborne, with his desperate hope for economic disaster to punish us for not voting as he told us to do, is typical of those who voted for us to stay in the EU. Yes, of course, there are some who do long for a catastrophic end to the negotiations so they can say they were right. But most remainers, at least those I know, take a rather more patriotic approach to Brexit. I don’t mean they have changed their minds. Of course they haven’t. They still think we neanderthals who objected to our membership of the EU should never have been allowed a vote. They remain convinced that we are all dreadfully uneducated racists, far too common to be permitted ever to enter a polling station. But they don’t actually want the UK to face economic ruin now we are committed to leaving the EU.
Take the extraordinary insistence of the EU Commission (not the member nations who are now showing signs of distress at the intransigence of the Commission) that we should not be allowed to discuss trade in the negotiations unless and until we agree to pay one hundred billion Euros to the Commission. No rational explanation for that demand has ever been advanced (because there can’t be any such explanation). But Mr Osborne, without going as far as expressly to say we must pay up, says we are at fault for not giving any reason for not giving in to the demand. That is a bizarre reaction to the Commission’s approach to the negotiations. Plainly, the only conceivable reason for the UK agreeing to pay the Commission anything at all would be to get a trade deal. It would be insane to promise payment of any sum without the slightest indication that we might get a trade deal later. But Mr Osborne thinks we should pay the Commission’s bribe and only then start talking about trade. That, I fear, is because he yearns for disaster for his country. Far better that he should go down in history as the man who predicted the destruction of the British economy than that we should get a good deal.
But, as I say, I don’t believe for one moment that Mr Osborne is typical of remainers. I know many of them. Despite being a stupid, lower class, racist leaver, I mix with lots of clever, middle class, multiculturalist remainers. And I have yet to meet one who really wants Brexit to ruin our economy. Many of them fear that will be the result, but they don’t actually seek it. And they all hope we will come out of the EU as a strong international trading economy.
So, the answer to my question is a resounding NO. Mr Osborne and a very few extremely bitter remainers long for disaster, but most are praying for success.