animist wrote:But where are we?
General: At the arse end of a referendum, the outcome of which most of us (I assume) do not like.
Specific: Fluid situation, so currently impossible to "nail" down.
To continue the fluid analogy, better to go with the flow, and try to influence the direction of flow, than to swim against the tide and fail.
what it is that we are trying to make work
The situation we are in (whatever that happens to be). I favour the notion of finding a democratic way of reversing the decision of the referendum (I don't know sufficient about politics or constitutional law to know how possible that is)
I don't think it is, nor do I think it is desirable. This is not to say that we should decide everything by referendum, but when every major party bar one supported Remain, but yet Leave won, it shows that there are flaws in democracy too.
but, if that turns out not to be possible, then I suggest that people of sincere intention (is that better?) might be inclined to put as much pressure as they can on those who are negotiating on our behalf to retain as much as possible of what was positive about EU membership with respect to, inter alia, trade, human rights, gender equality, anti-discrimination...
As already posted, I very much agree that we should seek such things as we think are desirable.
Some of these were helped by the EU, but ISTM that nearly all Remainers start their explanations with "I know that the EU has its faults, but...." And when those faults include condemning millions to generations of unemployment, and fostering extreme politics of left and right, consider the possibility that the faults are so big that a new beginning is required, extremely painful though it may be.
Furthermore, what would you say if, as it evolved, the EU stopped being a beacon for all the things you hold dear, and instead began to throw its weight around? Would it be right to prevent the Opposition gaining power, just because you like the current government? What is important is the structure, rather than any current policies.
I am also somewhat concerned by creeping EU imperialism. I don't think it is wise, or just, or helpful, for a pan-European institution to impose its views, under threat, upon citizens, just because of the views of others. How would you feel if, instead of the job destroying EU, we were uniting with the economically active but politically loony USA? We could have all the "pooled sovereignty" you like, but do we want US gun laws, say? Of course not. I don't like the smell when we are told that EU membership forces upon us laws or "rights" that we wouldn't choose ourselves.
So yes, we should be encouraging free trade (which the EU hates, btw...) along with the spread of the rule of law, sound money or whatever your particular interest is. But let's try to do so by other means than oppressive imposition against the will of the people.
(And yes, I am aware this post contains generalisations, but I'm only speaking in general terms.)