From Garrick Homes’ report on Gents Lunch in Languedoc July 2017:
One factor behind Teresa May’s electoral disaster is a growing recognition among British voters of the folly of leaving the EU’s single market and customs union, and an increased propensity of younger ones (who always opposed it) to vote. It was suggested that a possible second referendum (or general election) over the outcome of the Article 50 negotiations might even produce a decision to cancel Brexit altogether – although this view was not accepted by all.”
“Brexit: Had I been present I would have strongly resisted any suggestion that there is “a growing recognition among British voters” that it is a folly to leave the single market and customs union. Nothing could be further from the truth. Your summing up is no doubt a faithful rendering of what was said at the Gents lunch, but whoever said that is suffering from the delusion of wishful thinking. The experience “on the street” is the very contrary : the most far-seeing and entrepreneurial business leaders in entities of all sizes are desperately awaiting the moment when they can unleash their full trading potential unencumbered by restrictive, inhibiting and self-seeking EU regulations. As for another referendum – that is the Lib-Dem pipe dream that will NEVER come true, and merely suggesting it cost Nick Clegg his seat and the virtual demise of his party! People in the UK are so completely fed up with elections and referenda that they would probably boycott another one anyway! Garrick – I hope “this view was not accepted by all” is a pardonable euphemism!
Just to clarify: (1)Staying inside the Single Market effectively means relinquishing control of our borders; and (2) Staying in the Customs Union effectively means that we require the consent of 27 EU member countries before we can establish trading links anywhere else in the world. That’s why we voted to leave!”
“I feel obliged to respond to your comments on my brief paragraph about Brexit. In fact, the discussion did not include the word “folly”, which I added myself. I’m afraid it reflects my own bias, as someone for whom European unity represented a youthful ideal and whose journalistic career was focused largely, and in recent years exclusively, on the impact of EU policies on international businesses.
Although it was not I who pointed out the supposed shift in British electors’ view of Mrs May’s hard Brexit (which no one voted for, as it was not on the menu), I admit that the view summarized in my report – that Brexit would be an act of calamitous self-harm and that in due course this will become evident to the British people, leading to a change of view – is one I have held from the beginning.
It may be, as you say, that I am “suffering from the delusion of wishful thinking”. I do not expect to convince you, and your statement certainly has not convinced me. Time only will tell which of us was right.
With best regards, Garrick”