The Brexit referendum is now 6 years in the past. The continual calls from Brexiteers for “remoaners” to forget it and get with the program, have been gradually quietened as it has become clear that Brexit was won through a series of lies and promises – promises which have virtually all been broken.
The Conservative Party manifesto for the 2015 general election did say “We are clear about what we want from Europe. We say: yes to the Single Market.”
This was an important point that was made several times before the vote, yet after the vote everyone claimed that of course we all knew we had to leave the single market. While many would argue that it is too soon to see what damage Brexit will do (even though this was often said the other way before) It is clear that we were lied to, in order to leave. Before we actually completed the negotiations more than 50% of the population were expressing a desire to not leave.
Why does this matter (particularly to people outside the UK)? For one simple reason.
The British government has gradually started to show a more rational view on the incoming climate emergency. There have even been agreements to move towards net zero, with the government setting out how we will reach this by 2050.
Unfortunately Nigel Farage, as well as a portion of the right wing of the conservative party, keep asking about living costs as a way to undermine this push. Of course this is insane, as if we do not halt the worst of climate change the effect will be far greater to the UK than the cost of acting. He displayed aggression towards Covid mitigation policy, but with that largely in the rear view mirror, he has gone back to his old stomping ground, revealing once again his dislike for action on climate change (Brexit mean business) even though if we do nothing about climate change business in the UK will be hit incredibly hard.
“Net zero is net stupid” said Farage, something which is insane. He argues that governments green targets are the cause of rising cost of living, and connects this to issues such as fracking and coal mining.
Is he relevant to the global fight against climate change? I believe that he is. He has never had the support of more than 5-10% of the British population, probably the reason that despite standing for parliament 7 times he has never had a seat. Never-the-less, unfortunately the press seems to have a fascination for this person and like Donald Trump it is possible to do an incredible amount even with the majority of the population against you.
We are at the point where any further delay in giving global warming the attention it deserves can be deadly. How will people like Farage react if we have to give refuge to millions of climate refugees because of our inaction?
He is a British problem, and I am sure I am not the only person for whom one of the biggest positives of leaving the EU was supposedly him leaving the public eye.
Net zero is not only not stupid, but it is essential. If we grab it with both hands, we can quickly boost the economy by creating a variety of markets around the world for items that will help in this move.
What is essential is that we must not be swayed from this important move by the stupidity of people like this.