Andrea Jenkyns, the Conservative MP for Morley and Outwood in West Yorkshire and an advocate for the Eurosceptic organisation Leave Means Leave, decided to use her Prime Minister’s “question” today to observe that Yorkshire Brexiters will be celebrating Brexit on Friday.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson replied that he wished the people of Yorkshire well at the Brexit bash.
Whether the people of Morley and Outwood consider this a good use of their MP’s valuable question remains to be seen.
Maybe they will all be celebrating, but maybe Mrs Jenkyns should spare a thought for those of us who will be feeling pretty glum on Friday.
It’s not often I admire MP Steve Baker, the self-styled “Brexit hard man”, but I appreciate his conciliatory approach to these celebrations.
He tweeted: “Bearing in mind our need to unite this country when many people feel great sorrow about leaving the EU, I’m encouraging magnanimity from Brexit supporters. It’s time for big hearts.”
Before I get inundated with the usual Remoaner abuse, maybe Brexiters should look at some numbers.
The latest YouGov survey, published on Tuesday, shows that 47 per cent of us think it was wrong for the UK to leave the EU, 40 per cent of us think it was the right thing to do and 13 per cent don’t know.
Once you take out the “don’t knows”, 54 per cent think it was wrong and 46 per cent think it was right.
To pre-empt the next argument that opinion polls always get it wrong, 53 per cent of us voted for pro-second referendum political parties in December’s General Election and 47 per cent voted for pro-Brexit parties.
Of course, none of this matters now. The Remain side has been well and truly defeated.
I, for one, will be very sorry to lose my EU citizenship although I’m one of the fortunate ones. My grandmother was born in Northern Ireland so I can get Irish citizenship and remain part of the EU.
My teenage son says his friends who are of pure UK descent are very jealous that he will be able to study, live and work in Europe after 2020. They no longer have that option.
If Brexiters remain hell bent on rubbing our noses in it, we will never come together as a country.
Of course, we have absolutely no idea what lies ahead. British businesses have no idea whether they will be able to easily export to the EU or not. None of that has been decided.
Brexit won’t be over on Friday. It will just be the beginning of months and months of negotiations.
We will have to see what happens, but I’d be very surprised if the 54 per cent of us who now think it was wrong to leave the EU change their minds as the year progresses.
In fact, I think that figure will steadily increase as the next cliff edge deadline approaches.
So, whilst the Brexiters pop the corks on their English sparkling wine on Friday, I’m going to try to just get through it. TV will be banned in our house apart from Netflix and Amazon.
But whatever does happen this year, the Brexiters must own it. Remainers have lost, our voices no longer count, but at least we can no longer be blamed for what does transpire in the negotiations.
So, for those of you who feel jubilant, enjoy your Brexit celebrations. Just don’t expect the country to suddenly heal.
If the sunlit uplands don’t appear on the horizon by the end of 2020, I hope Remainers will be more magnanimous than the joyous Brexiters have been.