The Dover constituency voted to leave in the EU Referendum. So did the country. So Brexit is what the government must deliver, but the referendum never asked: how we should leave; how close our future relationship with the EU should be; how much people would be prepared to sacrifice in return for our independence nor, indeed, how long a transition period we would be prepared to face in order to get things right.
I personally voted Remain, although I sat up watching the results all night with a family that voted both ways. I personally also still believe a close trading relationship with the EU is best. I want a Brexit that doesn’t cost jobs; I want a Brexit that doesn’t risk destabilising the economy for decades and primarily I want a Brexit that isn’t going to clog up Kent’s roads, ports and infrastructure, throttling businesses in Dover and Deal.
This government has rushed ahead, bungling and in-fighting at every turn and meanwhile no-one is getting Kent ready. It is as if the Conservatives have forgotten about Kent. The local Tory (and Independent) MPs talk about the right technology being needed – it is a bit late for that. The Tory neglect of Kent means that the sort of frictionless trade outside of a customs partnership- one that doesn’t facilitate smuggling of goods, people and drugs – is years and years away…if it is possible at all.
I don’t believe in pipe-dreams, or unicorns; I believe in practical action. If this Conservative government can’t negotiate a deal that preserves economic prosperity for our region, they should move aside for a political party that will.