Remainers have had long enough to get used to the idea that, in the words of Theresa May: ‘Brexit means Brexit.’
The referendum is over, the people have spoken and the shock should have passed for those who advocated Remaining.
So it was preposterous to see Tony Blair trying to unpick the result of the referendum last week by suggesting it could be rerun or undone.
He and his fellow Remainers have had long enough to get used to the idea that, in the words of Theresa May: ‘Brexit means Brexit.’
The British people have spoken decisively and so loudly that not even ‘Remoaners’ with the hardest of hearing can pretend not to have heard them.
As with many key aspects of his time in office, Blair is in denial about his record on the EU.
If he had not made disastrous decisions such as allowing unrestricted immigration from Eastern Europe, the EU may have been less unpalatable for the British people.
At least Jack Straw, his former colleague in Government, has had the decency to apologise over that disastrous open borders policy.
If Blair wishes to be taken seriously on this issue, he should copy Mr Straw and issue the same fulsome mea culpa to the British people.
So, frankly, Blair needs to get over his EU hang-up, especially as it is becoming ever clearer that Britain is going to get a good deal out of Brexit.
It is obviously in all our interests to have the closest, friendliest relationship possible with the European Union after leaving.
The referendum is over, the people have spoken and the shock should have passed for those who advocated Remaining
However – and my fellow Brexiteers may be surprised to hear me say this – we may have to pay to seal the deal, and I believe we should.
Britain is the third-largest contributor to the European Union’s annual budget, even after it gives us back our rebate.
In 2015, we paid £13 billion into the EU budget.
Of this, only £4.5 billion was subsequently spent in the UK, on things such as funding scientific research at our universities and on subsidies for farmers.
So, even once you take away every penny of what the EU spends in the UK, the European Union will be missing out on an £8.5 billion British contribution to its budget.
This is a big blow for them, and part of the reason why they have taken Brexit so badly.
Our taxpayers now foot more than 12 per cent of the organisation’s cost – and the EU cannot just go on without British money.
It was preposterous to see Tony Blair trying to unpick the result of the referendum last week by suggesting it could be rerun or undone
Europe desperately needs our contribution to fix its various messes.
Whether it is the euro itself, the refugee crisis or banking concerns in Italy and Germany, the EU has problems to tackle and it needs money to fund the solutions.
But, even after we leave, it is in our interest for the EU to solve its problems.
We want to be a friendly, co-operative and benevolent neighbour to a strong and stable Europe.
Further political or economic distress on the continent will damage us too.
I was one of those who campaigned to leave, but the Government should be absolutely clear that our motive is not for the European Union to fail – we just don’t think it is right for us.
That is why we should pay a proportion of the £8.5 billion that we will save through leaving back into its budget.
We should help bridge some of the EU’s funding gap, but only on the condition that the EU delivers our demand of providing British businesses with tariff-free access to the single market.
There is a desire on the continent, which we often underestimate, to preserve the European Union project at whatever cost, which is why they wish to deter others from following us out of the door.
We must allow them to point to the ‘example’ of Britain paying into the European Union budget in return for single market access.
The cost would be high enough to deter other smaller countries from leaving, but it would be easy enough for us to bear considering our current budget contributions.
Although we would contribute to the EU budget, we would deliver the ability to control our borders and direct immigration toward the skills shortages in our economy.
We would be able to set our own tax policies, including for VAT, and we would be set free to trade with the world, no longer having to take part in the doomed endeavour of pleasing every economic sector and every geographical section of all 28 member states.
Crucially, this arrangement will keep us out of the interfering grasp of the European Court of Justice.
The only issue to negotiate is how high our payment would be in return for single market access, and that must be left to our negotiators.
But whatever we pay, up to and including the £8.5 billion we will save through leaving, would be worth it.
By the way, there is some concern about what happens to the infrastructure funds currently administered by the EU when we say farewell.
There needn’t be.
Theresa May’s Government has already promised that this spending – which, after all, is British cash which goes to Brussels and is then simply re-distributed over here – will be guaranteed post-Brexit
Theresa May’s Government has already promised that this spending – which, after all, is British cash which goes to Brussels and is then simply re-distributed over here – will be guaranteed post-Brexit.
Ultimately, this is a commercial transaction, and we all benefit from preserving our current trading position.
Our negotiating hand is strengthened because our economy is strong and growing. If I were still CEO of polling firm YouGov, I would be investing in the UK – just as Nissan did last week.
We import more from the EU than we export and, most importantly, we do not wish to create a completely new trading relationship – we want to preserve the status quo.
BRITAIN has already adopted every single European Union law and regulation.
This legal conformity will be preserved through the Great Repeal Act, which sends a powerful message to Japanese and other foreign businesses that they will still only have to comply with one set of rules when we leave.
As the Chief Executive of the World Trade Organisation said last week, Britain will have a smooth exit from the EU no matter what, but we should ensure that the process is as smooth as possible.
We must deliver on the demands of the British people to leave the EU, regain sovereignty and control immigration, but we must preserve our old trading and political relationships too.
There is no need to create unnecessary instability. It would not be good for the EU and it wouldn’t be good for us either.
If that means we have to pay something to the EU to achieve the best possible Brexit, then we should.