On the matter of Britain’s membership in the European Union, which Lionel Shriver discussed in her fascinating recent column [“No Exit,” Easy Chair, April], I am a reluctant Remainer. That is, I believed in what some described as the Remain campaign’s “Project Fear.” The opposition summoned a dystopia for us to regard as we voted: the end of all we love.
Even so, I am not arrogant enough to expect British democracy to be scuppered to soothe my personal anxieties about what may happen with the lorries at the port of Dover or whether salad will make it down the A30 road to my home in Cornwall in the days after Brexit. The result of the 2016 referendum must be honored, although, as Shriver writes, it probably won’t be, due to Remainer tactics justified by arguments ranging from “the voters didn’t understand the question” to “some people who voted Leave are now dead.” I trust Remain leaders less after hearing these preposterous statements.
Shriver’s key insight was this:
Even if E.U. membership is indeed an economic advantage, is a higher GDP worth the price: the spectacle, conducted on an international stage, of the people’s will in a democracy coldly defied? I don’t think the answer is obvious.
I think it is obvious, and I am more pessimistic than Shriver about Britain if Brexit is denied. She thinks we will sulk but essentially endure with our sodden bunting and our terrible weather. I think it will be worse than that.