Brexit: It's Really Not Too Late

27/06/2016 11:25 | Updated 27 June 2016

The country woke up on Friday, 24 June 2016 to the news of Brexit as the new reality. I spent the night glued to the screen in a state of disbelief and woke on Friday after less than one hour's rest and wondered whether the UK's sudden and brutal exit from the European Union (EU) was a figment of my imagination. If I clicked heals three times like Dorothy chanting "There's no place like home" then the nightmare might surely end? Sadly, no. But it gets worse.

Prime Minister David Cameron had rolled the dice in an unbelievably irresponsible politically motivated gamble with the destiny of the country's future. But it was not supposed to end like this.

Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty must be invoked for EU withdrawal negotiations to begin. Cameron, who fought for the UK to remain an EU member, announced during his resignation speech that Brexit should be managed by his successor who would be expected to initiate the process in October. The Brexit camp are in no hurry because they have no plan.

The consequences of Brexit extend beyond the UK. Senior EU officials are angry. They had not wanted the association dismantled. The mood in Europe is that Article 50 should now be executed without delay.

We must be stiff upper lipped in that singularly British way and deal with Brexit. Or maybe not.

Labour MP for Tottenham David Lammy points out the EU Referendum was non-binding and calls for a parliamentary vote on whether to go forward.

MPs should seriously consider David Lammy's call for a vote in Parliament during this week. The price of Brexit as a political folly is too high.

David Cameron is due to meet with EU leaders in Brussels to begin talks.

Rather than plead for a drawn out Brexit that would further reduce the UK in the eyes of the world, Cameron should grovel, grovel and grovel and then inform the EU leaders that the UK has changed its mind. The referendum was not binding and a Brexit outcome is detrimental for all parties. It is in everyone's interest that the UK should remain within the EU.

Cameron is responsible for the situation and it was right that he took the decision to resign.

The new Conservative Party leader need not be from the Brexit camp. The country needs a stabilising force rather than a further lurch to the right at a time when there is mounting civil unrest incited by a referendum process where open dialogue frequently descended into overt racism.

There will be calls for a general election. The Labour Opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn faces intense criticism and a likely leadership challenge for his apparent lack of enthusiasm for the Remain campaign.

Jeremy Corbyn is not responsible for Brexit and my message to detractors is to get behind your leader and try to show the country that your party is fit to govern.

Corbyn's low-key response to Brexit might indicate that he understands more than most senior members of his party the fundamental cause of dissatisfaction with migration that expanded under the Blair-Brown eras.

The free movement of people was a disaster for communities in areas where employers can import cheap migrant labour to the detriment of a local workforce. The consequences are that the heart and soul is ripped out of the local community as migrants are brought here to be exploited and yet the political elite under New Labour and subsequent governments failed to act.

Chancellor George Osborne's dire warning in May that Brexit could lead to house price falls of 18% was dismissed by Brexiteers as "extraordinary".

This pronouncement was symbolic in the referendum campaign. A predicted house price fall is mooted as a bad thing with both sides completely oblivious the 'warning' was a siren call for anyone desperate to secure their own home. Our privileged and arrogant political leaders could not see it.

UK property prices need to fall by at least 40% to get near to affordability at a level recognised by previous generations.

The mood around the referendum was ugly and it is worsening. The xenophobic rhetoric deployed by Brexit has resulted in a spiked increase in racist incidents reported on the UK's streets after a result where only 51.9% of turnout voted for the UK to leave the EU.

The emergence of Regrexit would be a befitting end to the tragicomedy except that historical parallels of social discontent would propel the UK into a much deeper and darker place.

It does not have to end this way. Parliament can and should postpone Brexit and turn its attention towards addressing the root causes of our national discontent.