Brexifs, Buts and Maybes - The Myth of Leave

21/06/2016 13:02 | Updated 21 June 2016

There's a land where those who dare to dream can do whatever they like, with careless abandon. Where it's entirely possible to be whomever you want, whenever you need. And when the moment arrives to change your mind and walkaway, you can - with no more than a friendly wave and smile in exchange for the trouble.

Vote Leave's gambit for Britain sounds more like a residency in Disneyland than something grounded in the reality of real-life. But when you have cartoonish figureheads and fairy dust solutions, you don't need to wish upon a star - let alone the twelve that adorn the flag of the EU.

Remain's tepid campaign has been botched from start to finish but when you step away from the fact-checks, the numbers and all the hyperbole therein, the simple question is this: what is the vision from the Leave camp?

Really - beyond an assumed a playbook entitled 'What would Winston do?', Vote Leave have offered the electorate nothing. They have no policies in place (with no authority to action), no agreements lined-up with either powerbrokers in Brussels - or business leaders ready to sign-up and fill the void left by firms who will walk away. We've seen nothing from Johnson, Farage and Gove on what measures would be taken to stave off recession in those hours and days that follow. Nothing.

Irrespective of what you think of the people and campaign, it strikes as one of the biggest election crimes in British history to have no manifesto, no plan. Nothing. Leave could've been a great campaign if it had leaders who knew what they were doing, offering real world solutions to the challenges people across the country would face. Instead, we're left with a motley bag of white, middle-aged chancers drinking in Westminster's last chance saloon.

Farage - a serial general election choker - shrugs off genuine concerns with the economy and counters on the subject of life quality, as if being unemployed and skint under the full, unadulterated auspices of the Union Jack makes it all better.

The EU Referendum is so important because it has ceased to become a vote on the European project, instead emerging as a battle for what is tangible and real versus flights of fantasy. Moreover, this has become a referendum of what kind of country we want to be - and be seen as.

Leave represent a cloying mix of old-world Empire envy, fettered xenophobia and doe-eyed naivety. The idea Britain can pick and mix its commitments, continue to be a dominant economy, keep its own union together while being seen as a friend of the world and its citizens is delusional as it is hilarious.

The world has seen the election campaign - every nation has witnessed the messages of Leave, and a victory for them will be seen as a closing of the door for a generation of Brits. After all, why would Europe - indeed anyone foreign - want to deal with a nation that has viewed them with such suspicion and disdain?

That is the biggest myth of all Leave's fables - that their campaign has been one of positivity and hope. Unless hope is code for Britain to become a pariah state.

Walt Disney himself once said that there's nothing funnier than the human animal. Beyond the turmoil, damage and hubris Leave would bring, the idea that we'll all be better off at the end of it would suggest the joke's on us. Let's avoid being a laughing stock on Thursday.