Most of our members, conscious of the importance of the topic: ‘Brexit’, were present and very involved, giving their views and asking many questions on Brexit, the UK preparing to leave the European Union.
Our speaker was Mike Goldsmith, a very experienced and practical, clear sighted expert on international politics. He was so good: in no time he had our members feeling more confident and having more understanding, things which until then had been quite lacking, as at the national level. Mike stressed that we must not accept any profound changes unless our nation knew what it wanted, what that meant in reality and when all of it was clear and fair. The fact is, sadly, we are not at all able to answer these crucial questions. We have committed ourselves to UK departure, in the dark, in the biggest shift in our political, social and international relations for centuries.
We do not understand Brussel’s ways and attitudes. Our Civil Service is not to be allowed to discuss the situation. ‘Exiters’ in particular do not know what they want except to get out asap. What about Scotland, N Ireland and Wales? What do they think (or will think as matters move on)? Will proposals emerging from the vast number of interlocking discussions on law, education, immigration, trade patterns and financial institutions, etc, then require a second referendum?
How long would the negotiations take when we realise that there will be six or more sets of difficult negotiations (and compromises) on all of the above and then more with Australia, Canada and the USA as well as others? The task is extremely complicated, extremely difficult and… can we count on the friendly support from many of the twenty seven states of the EU? More and more negotiations will still be needed, on and on, until newly raised problems and shifting attitudes finally reach some agreement. Who will help shape our future foreign policies?
Some ‘Exiters’ want a whole new internationally agreed, planned policy.
Mike’s contribution was brilliant, clear and measured as he covered so many aspects each with extra related points waiting to be resolved as agreements are sometimes reached. At least, for the moment, we may get beyond the shallow and pompous rubbish from out politicians who have again failed us when truth and good knowledge were most needed.
Our next meeting: Thursday, October 13. Topic: ‘Money is ruining sport’ presented by Graham and Joy Swallow.
Following meeting: Thursday, November 10. Topic: ‘The state of our prisons today leaves much to be desired’.
Christmas Lunch. Thursday, December 8, 12.00pm for 12.30pm at ‘The Angel’.
New members welcome. Tom Gilmore.