The Difficult Couple Client - Remain and the Brexiteers

23/05/2016 12:08 | Updated 23 May 2016

I have been thinking what it might be like if the two opposing sides in the EU debate - Remain and the Brexiteers - were to be sitting on the sofa in my consulting rooms.

As the debate and arguments heat up in the run up to the EU referendum in just about a month's time, I imagine there would be fireworks and I would continually have to intervene to bring tempers and flying feathers back to normal. Phew, what a difficult task that would be.

I hope that as a therapist who specialises in couples counselling I would have the right skills and ability to get the two sides to see each other's point of view and act reasonably and in the best interests of their children - the people of Britain who will all have a single vote come June 23 - and not have to witness a separation.

It is certainly like a romance between two people who can't decide their future and it's as though they are asking their children to help them make their minds up - one way or the other.

Jean-Claude Junker, the EU Commission president, who I doubt has any experience as a couples counsellor, has already given his views. In my opinion, his intervention is widely off the mark and it's precisely what a couples counsellor wouldn't do or say.

He has stated quite categorically that people shouldn't be together if conditions aren't the same as when they started (going out or dating). What he doesn't realise is that couples do indeed change and circumstances change; couples have to negotiate that in a relationship or marriage at every turn, Mr Junker. And you heard it here, first.

That is precisely why David Cameron, the Prime Minister, has agreed to a referendum so that Britain can have a bigger say and a voice that is heard more loudly at the big table. The PM says this is a once-in-a-lifetime vote and he has pointed out the risks if Britain leaves the EU and gets a divorce.

Mr Junker says "It's easy to fall in love and more difficult to stay together." Of course, that is pretty obvious - that is why the Remain part of the couple wants to work things out and perhaps make things better, while the Brexiteers would want to go to an uncertain future with plenty of unknowns.

Perhaps as Lady Gaga would put it differently, asking are we Caught in a Bad Romance?
What the Brexiteers will have to make sure about if the children vote for Remain, is that their parents cannot be curmudgeonly incompetent and continually berate other couples (EU members) for outwitting them.

Mr and Mrs Remain, and let's assume for one minute this will be their new identity, will then have to stop complaining that they are always on the losing side - instead they will have to learn how to live properly as a couple and learn the rules of the game. They cannot continue to be marginalised by other couples (in the EU) and if they agree to patch things up and stay together, it must be with a new vigour and determined power to make the best of it all - for Britain and their interests.