The EU referendum results have just been confirmed and the big question has been answered – the UK has voted to chop of its arm because it doesn’t like holding the EU’s hand. AKA Leave won…
So, if you’re reading this blog – as opposed to psychically scanning its contents into your brain somehow, a talent you must teach me – you might have noticed I haven’t posted in a while. Life happened, jobs, family etc that prevented writing frequently. But as the events of the last few hours have happened I felt it might be worth noting amongst all the ‘who would have predicted this with the polls so tight’ stuff that is beginning to come up everywhere from the TV news through to social media that, well, I did. In 2012.
Background: When I made the prediction it’s important to remember a couple of things. Firstly, David Cameron was yet to announce a referendum – obviously – he was also yet to make his pledge of holding a referendum should the Tories win the 2015 general election. So my prediction was made without knowing a referendum was coming, that the Tories would be in power in 2015 etc…
Despite not knowing those things, I predicted the Uk would not be in the EU 10 years hence – a wide margin for error, I grant you, but one which seems fair given the lack of knowledge surrounding a forthcoming referendum. Had I known what Mr Cameron (I think it’s worth disgarding his PM title sooner rather than later) was planning, clearly my predition would have been narrowed in its timeframe. Either way, I felt a referendum was coming, and that the result of such a referendum was not in doubt:
However, the second possibility is that of exit from the EU altogether. This could take place even with a pro-EU government at the helm. Perhaps the EU will demand nothing but total acceptance when the next bout of changes arrive. Maybe the calls for a referendum become too hard to ignore in the face of an all or nothing membership.
And the reality of a referendum must mean an exit.
My thoughts at the time were that Brexit was coming, but was slightly further off. That EU reforms in the face of the Eurozone crisis (remember that?) would force the Uk into a 2nd tier membership, or a referendum vote.
That said, I did not underestimate David Cameron’s capacity for putting his own political self-interest ahead of the country’s interest:
Plus there’s the Tories. Hard up in the polls, with annoying right wingers in need of placating on the backbenches… what better than an EU referendum to solve such woes?
In that event, we wouldn’t be cut and done with the EU of course. Some kind of deal would be reached regarding travel, trade and whatnot. But it would mean an exit nonetheless.
Now as with any prediction it was not perfect and you could well sit there and pick holes in my prediction: 10 years? It happened in 4. You were talking about 2nd Tier membership and being forced out by EU reforms etc. And people make predictions all the time, so you happened to write something on a blog that turned out to be true, so what?
That’s fair. But my points would be this: I make grand predictions rarely. Look back at my old posts, it’s not like I’m predicting stuff every five minutes in the hope something hits the mark. I still said the Uk would not be in the EU 10 years after 2012. Barring us re-joining in the next 6 years, that prediction was correct. I outlined two distinct, but a the time very possible ways the Uk could leave the EU – one of those two possibilities came to fruition. Thirdly, I correctly predicted a referendum would mean Brexit (regardless of when it was held). And finally, well, read this;
The only possible hope is a victory for the EU in a referendum. A sound, solid affirmation of the Uk’s continued support [for the EU]. But then, how likely is that? With the majority of the media against any further integration and most likely backing an ‘out’ campaign, I just don’t see us remaining part of the EU too far into the future.
Then it happened.
Alas, I’m rather reminded of a line from the Hitchhiker’s guide to the galaxy:
“I’d much rather be happy than right any day.”
Sadly I’m not.
Cheers and thanks to all those who voted Remain.