The UK citizens who have made our lives in Europe are still being held hostage, more than two years after the Brexit referendum, and nothing – absolutely nothing – has been done to reassure us or provide practical advice about our future post-March 2019. For this reason, the organisation that I belong to, British in Europe, has stopped sitting on the fence and declared itself to be against Britain leaving the EU. Many of us are now actively campaigning for a second referendum, sometimes referred to as a People’s Vote on the deal, now that the British public is presumably more aware of the disaster that awaits them.
There is a lot of work still to be done to achieve this Remain in EU vote and force the government to recognize the game has changed and the people must be allowed a say on their future. As soon as a second referendum is announced, the next step will be a massive campaign to ensure a Remain victory. Apart from the fact that the demographic has changed since 2016 (with more young people voting for Remain, and older voters who helped the narrow majority for Leave dying off) the key to a Remain vote is going to be getting the facts across to the undecided or turning the resolve of the suicidal diehard Leavers.
In this work, there is a very successful initiative called 3 Blokes in the Pub which has gathered great momentum on social media in the past weeks. If like me, you are neither on Twitter nor Facebook (I long ago deleted my accounts) you may never have heard of 3 Blokes in the Pub and I would like to recommend listening to them as a way to build up your understanding of the facts, ready for the second public battle of Brexit: the Battle to Remain.
I chanced upon 3 Blokes in the Pub because I saw James J. Hunter mentioned in comment threads in the Guardian. Such comments as “Why don’t they get James Hunter on the BBC Today programme? He’d make mincemeat of Jacob Rees-Mogg” etc. But I had no idea who James Hunter was!
I did a little searching on Google a few weeks ago and found that James Hunter was the international trade expert of 3 Blokes in the Pub on the YouTube videos of the same name, which many people have tapped into through Twitter or Facebook. So-called ‘social media’ is quite antisocial for those citizens who object to organising our day around Twitter or feel that Facebook is a dangerous intrusion into our liberties. But if a major conversation is just taking place on social media and not in the mainstream broadcast or print media, you can easily miss it. Here’s episode 1, but be warned it is technical and an hour long. These guys really do know their stuff.
From this introduction we learn that James J. Hunter is an experienced international trade negotiator, and we also learn that many of the glib pronouncements by people such as Jacob Rees-Mogg (the ringleader of the anti-EU group in Parliament) can be easily challenged by the facts.
After the success of 3 Blokes in the Pub, James Hunter made some appearances on radio and television – where his devastating command of the facts about international trade negotiation instantly took the wind out of the sails of any hapless Brexiteer put up to argue against him. Just by talking facts and not waffling about the sunlit uplands in which unicorns roam after a painless exit from Europe.
Since the initial success of 3 Blokes in the Pub there has been a campaign to fund them properly to go off to places like Brussels and Geneva (HQ of the World Trade Organisation) and tell us the facts, in a way the British Government has failed to do. I’m simply bringing this to the attention of a wider audience – particularly those not on social media – and hope you will find it useful. Click on any of their YouTube videos to get started and the rest will appear in sequence. My only criticism is that the videos are all too long, while packed with useful information, and it takes a while to wade through all the information, which needs to be made available in print form somewhere, in a structured booklet that can be used for reference.
Please be aware, this blog post is aimed solely at informing Remainers, not arguing with Leavers. Any comments expressing a Leave view will simply be deleted. This is war now. Thanks.