NOW that we are hurtling inexorably towards isolation without power (Brexit in all scenarios) we need to be honest with ourselves.

Do we want this? Because if the UK’s decline wasn’t on your wish list, now is the time to say so. Catastrophic national self-harm is happening before our eyes. The democratic voices of reason are being drowned out by the baying of fanatics. Never before has this country voted for its own downfall. Never before has Parliament voted in favour of making its citizens poorer, its economy weaker, its influence diminished, its status ridiculed, and its safety compromised.

The news from Nissan is but the latest in the exodus of our biggest and most important industries giving up and moving out. Specialists in science, medical research and innovation are leaving the UK. The lives and livelihoods of thousands of men and women across the country, not just in the Northern industrial heartlands, are now on the line. It is astonishing that we have a Conservative government, the party of business, and a Labour opposition, the party of workers, united in the ultimate betrayal of both — Brexit.

Never before has Parliament wilfully inflicted a policy on the United Kingdom that could ultimately lead to its dissolution. The worst, most destructive, divisive and least patriotic of elements in our society are now in the ascendant and intent on selling us out to the likes of Trump and Putin. Farage and Arron Banks are now ‘people of interest’ in the Mueller investigation. We have yet to discover the full extent of the Trump / Putin involvement in Brexit, but we do know that Putin has told Theresa May not to hold a People’s Vote — which speaks volumes — though he needn’t have worried.

What a victory for the enemies of democracy — a weakened, isolated Britain serving the agendas (unwittingly or otherwise) of the two most dangerous leaders on the planet. As part of the EU we could have been one of the most powerful voices in Europe, a major influence in keeping the world safe and stable. But we have lost our reputation and respect. We are no longer at the ‘Top Table’, and the great decisions of our time will be made without us. How’s that for patriotism, Mr Farage?

Through frustration or despair, we could sit back and let the government ‘just get on with it’— the cry of the miserable and the ill-informed, who think that if we ‘just get on with it’, the torture will all be over on March 29th. Sorry, but that will be just the beginning. Decades of trade strife with the EU and the rest of the world will follow. For those of the Raj mind-set who still think we rule the waves and will beat the trading giants, including the EU, into humiliating concessions, for heaven sake, get a reality check. Stop crowing about sovereignty and taking back control — Brexit will end both. Stop crowing about how we won the war and saved Europe — it’s arrogant and degrading. We are living in the 21st century, and our children deserve better from us. To be a leading player in making Europe a prosperous and powerful force for good is not a downgrade — and how disgraceful to suggest it is.

The lie that an informed People’s Vote would be undemocratic is an insult to everyone with integrity and intelligence who values what this country stands for. It is the shocking con-job peddled by the far right and the lowest of the low in a parliament that has already sunk beneath contempt.

Jennifer Godschall Johnson, Full address supplied.