The message from Brexiteers, now that it is clear there is no economic benefit from #Brexit is that it was never really about making us more wealthy, it was always about regaining sovereignty. For the sake of clarity, here is the Google definition of it.
Parliamentary sovereignty is a description of the extent to which the Parliament of the United Kingdom has absolute and unlimited power. It is framed in terms of the extent of authority that parliament holds, and whether there are any sorts of law that it cannot pass.
The bus with the £350 million a week was 'nuffink to do with me guv, it was that other bloke'. Brexit was all about the UK 'taking back control of our country'. In truth, this is an even bigger whopper than the £350 million a week for the NHS. The difficult truth is that the UK has no independence and no sovereignty. It hasn't had such a thing for a very long time, and it most likely never will again.
Very few countries truly have any degree of 'sovereignty'. You have to be a superpower such as the USA or China or a pariah state such as Afghanistan or Iran. The rest of us have little say over our future. When the UK abandoned plans for its own independent nuclear deterrent, opting for a system the USA has a key for, we gave up the last vestage of being a truly soveriegn power. As a member of NATO, we are legally obliged to enter a suicidal war in the event that Russia were to attack any other NATO member. Whether or not you think this is a good thing, you cannot pretend that we are truly independent, if a third party can drag us into a war that will annihalate us, with us having no say at all. I'm not arguing that we shouldn't be in NATO, just pointing out the blatently obvious.
Then there are our finances. We have no control over our economy or our interest rates. We rubber stamp decisions, but as Liz Truss so wonderfully demonstrated, if a UK PM decides to 'buck the market', they get unceremonially sacked. We can't start wars on our own, the USA taught us that during the Suez Crisis. Ironically the current small boats crisis has shown us we've even less control of our borders than we had when we were in the EU.
Parliament may have the authority to pass laws, but in truth, when you pass laws and make rules that are unenforceable, they do not mean you have sovereignty. We do not need laws to stop people entering the country illegally, they already exist and they don't work. All they do is illustrate that you have a dysfunctional government. The only way to enforce such policies is to work with neighbouring countries. Brexit has made that harder. The reason we have high immigration is because it is official UK government policy and has been for decades. The Conservative party are the party of high immigration for the simple reason that the people who fund them want cheap labour. The Labour party are less well inclined to immigration as it forces down wages, which sits badly with the Unions that fund them. Neither party will tell you this truth as it sits badly with many of their core supporters. With falling birthrates in the indigenous population, immigration is the only way to keep the UK functioning. There is talk about AI replacing the UK workforce, but until AI can unblock toilets and wipe bums in care homes, there will be a shortage of people to do the UK's dirty work.
The truth, which you may or may not find sad, is that in a world where you can make a million pounds investing in a virtual (ie it doesn't really exist) currency, can buy and pay for a vinyl record in Australia in one second, pay a someone in Germany to take there clothes off for you in real time, buy viagra from India without leaving your front room, you cannot believe that the UK will ever again have true sovereignty, or not until we live through World War Three and welcome back the stone age.
So next time someone tells you Brexit was all about reclaiming sovereignty, I suggest you ask them whether they