In June, 52 per cent of the British public voted to leave the European Union. It was quite clear that this would mean Britain would leave the single market and regain ‘control’. Of course, this wasn't set in stone, but it was certainly said by the majority of campaigners on both sides. Namely Johnson, Gove, Farage, Cameron, and Osborne.
Remaining in the single market would mean paying into the European Union, accepting EU legislation, and maintaining the four freedoms. This is currently the deal that the Norwegians have as they’re in the European Economic Area. Not only would Britain still be paying into the European Union if they joined the EEA, but they’d actually be paying more as Norway pay more per capita than the United Kingdom currently does for being a member of the EEA.
The three main reasons why 52 per cent of the British public voted to leave the European Union were immigration, democracy, and the subscription fee paid to the EU. (The latter comes under disputed due to the ‘Leave’ campaign falsely using the figure of £350million, but nevertheless Britain still has to pay billions to the EU every year)
Let’s look at each one of those reasons individually:
This isn’t a reason I voted to leave but I was firmly aware that leaving the EU would put an end to the freedom of movement. However, if Britain leaves the European Union but remains within the single market, Britain would have to continue with the four freedoms, which includes freedom of movement. Immigration was the vote winner for the ‘Leave’ campaign. It’s a divisive topic and continued to split communities today. Everyone who voted to leave was fully aware that leaving the European Union would mean discontinuing with the freedom of movement. Nobody would have voted to leave if they wanted, above all else, to maintain the freedom of movement. Brexit meant regaining control of Britain’s borders.
This is why I voted to leave. I wanted to see an end to an unelected body concocting laws and politicians from other countries voting on the laws, which would be enrolled in Britain. Laws such as the common fisheries policy that has hindered British fishermen since its enactment. Remaining within the single market would mean accepting every European law and regulation without having a seat at the table. That is not democracy.
EU Subscription Fee
The cringeworthy red bus with that infamous £350million slogan plastered on the side of it was a metaphor for the anger that Brits feel about paying billions of pounds a year to a European body instead of funding the £20million black hole in the NHS. Whether the figure was incorrect, or not which it was, is not the point. Remaining within the single market would mean Britain would actually be paying more than it originally did within the EU.
A soft Brexit would be ignoring the three main reasons why Brits voted to leave the European Union. Whether you think we need to remain within it shouldn't be on the cards. Brits voted to leave the EU because of those three reasons and remaining within the single market wouldn't change any of the above.
This doesn't mean we shouldn't debate Brexit. We should. We need to know what Brexit will look like. However, one thing should remain constant in all possible outcomes: leaving the single market.