Brexit – Where are we now?
Well at the Brexit juggernaut trundles down the narrow country lanes following its out of date Satnav which now tells it it’s off the road and heading for a nonexistent destination it is time to ask where the hell are we.
So where the hell are we?
So perhaps it is time to look at what we do know.
- Theresa May is in a blind panic trying desperately to cling on to power like a crushed limpet. Behind her the Tories are hopelessly split in two and pulling in different directions. As a Remainer, in order to gain power, she had to nail her colours to the extreme right of her party and she’s now stuck with them while the more moderate side are beginning to find their voice. She is so desperate to stay in power that she is actually pleading with Europe to give her a break – probably threatening them with Boris or Rees-Mogg if they don’t help her out.
- The moderate Tories were ousted and jumped ship to take up highly lucrative jobs elsewhere and thumb their nose at the chaos they created.
- We are negotiating a massive divorce bill that is large enough to make the eyes water and make all that extra money promised for the NHS look risible. We’re going to have to pay through the nose to get out.
- We don’t know whether we want into the market or out – a hard or soft Brexit. Either way our economy is buggered.
- Firms are already fleeing the country. The bottom has dropped out of the London housing market because of the tens of thousands heading across the channel taking the money with them. The future economic prospects look grim and our credit rating dropped.
- The Labour Party is also split and can’t make up their mind. Corbyn hates Europe but can see that we’re buggered economically if we leave. The only ones making sense on Europe are the Lib-Dems and they’ll be lucky to make double numbers in the next parliament.
- An army of bureaucrats and lawyers are gleefully pocketing huge sums of money as they pick their way through the complex legal frameworks that have become so interwoven with Europe that disentangling takes an army of ‘experts’ all paid for at tax-payers expense.
- The economy is still flat-lining while the rest of Europe is beginning to forge ahead.
- The pound has dropped through the floor making all imports more expensive so we’re paying more for most things and inflation is setting in.
- David Davies is now taking a GCSE in negotiating skills so that he can learn the rudiments of how it’s done – seemingly shouting at foreigners and taunting them (a la Farage) is not working.
- Hate crime has gone through the roof as the far-right groups have been emboldened by Brexit and Trump and feel it is now fine to display their xenophobia and racism.
- We are regaled with nostalgia for the days of Empire when Britain was Great in an age of wonder that never was. My Mum talked of those terrible times with families starving, sewn into their clothes for winter and going to school, in classes of fifty plus, with rags tied round their feet in the snow because they couldn’t afford shoes. Some great times they were. No NHS, low wages, extreme poverty and toffs in mansions. Is that where we’re heading? Aah but at least we have the resolute Dunkirk spirit and know how to handle a Blitz.
- The country is divided like never before with both sides stridently entrenched and unwilling to listen to the other side’s arguments at all. Reason has gone out the window. There is no rational debate. This is partisan politics; it’s emotional not cerebral. All that is important is that they win at all costs. What happens to the country or future generations is immaterial. We hear about derogatory shouts of brainless Brexiteers and Remoaners but nobody is taking an intelligent, objective look at the mess.
- There is a huge mass of intricate cooperative legislation and institutions that now need teasing apart and nobody has a clue how it is going to be done or how much it will cost to do it and what it will look like when it’s done. We don’t know if the planes will fly, if the environmental protection will continue, what trade will take place, the antiterrorist cooperation will continue, the atomic energy will work, the migrant workers can get in, the human rights legislation will be in place, the workers’ rights will be protected, farm subsidies, Interpol, treaties, joint projects, science funding, the European funding of projects for deprived areas, the rights of our EU citizens living in the UK or UK citizens living in Europe, visas, borders, passports, customs and a thousand other things. It’s a complete shambles. Presumably there are people working on all this. All I know is that it is not going to be cheap. We’ll have to reinvent a lot of it, negotiate with Europe for a lot, set up huge amounts of infrastructure, employ tens of thousands of people doing more bureaucratic rubbish and at the end of the day everything will be worse, harder, slower and more costly. I do know they are putting into place huge car and lorry parking near the ports because they are expecting massive delays.
When the dust has settled and we are out of Europe, in whatever form that takes, all I know is that we will be poorer, as a society we will be worse off emotionally, and the gleeful nationalists who sparked this all off will have made a killing and be sitting pretty.
As Laurel and Hardy were prone to saying – “Well, here’s another nice mess you’ve gotten me into.”