I have stayed silent on Brexit for some time; watching the drama unfold and the chaos ensue in horror but without comment. Personally, I am unaffected unless major economic crises are a result (I have two pensions paid from the UK). A slump in the value of the pound will hit me, as my pensions are paid in pounds but I have taken some precautions against this and I do not see it as a likely long term issue.
The latest steps have been absolutely incredible and show the depth to which the lack of leadership has fallen in UK. It has long been clear that and skills that Theresa May’s has are not leadership and it has long been clar that her only goal is to keep her party together rather than to lead the nation. Otherwise she would not have focused all her efforts on trying to appease the right-wing ERG which seem in reality to only want a catastrophic outcome from which to benefit financially and politically.
The decision by the house speaker (the referee) not to allow a third vote on May’s deal is understandable but regrettable as it absolves her of the responsibility for further delay which would have been inevitable in any case if her deal was rejected for a 3rd time. That she wants a 3rd attempt to beat her party into submission is especially ironic given the refusal to entertain the idea of a 2nd referendum on the basis that the people cannot be asked a second time. A request to extend the article 50 leaving date seems inevitable but under what conditions will this be accepted by the EU27?
All the mature debate and decisions are being made in Brussels. Without some clear direction from the UK leadership a pause is not going to solve any problems. Without clear leadership no clear direction can emerge and all in government, parliament and the media are complicit in allowing this situation to have developed. No leadership is visible anywhere and especially from the two major-party leaders, May and Corbyn. No new party has yet emerged and if an election were to be held tomorrow I and I suspect millions of other Brits would have no-one to vote for, which is incredible, and from afar almost unbelievable, given that the overall mood in the UK is still balanced on the Brexit question.
It seems to me that there are only 2 real solutions. Either to exit now with no deal. Delay is not going to solve anything so let’s get the pain on both sides out of the way as quickly as possible. This probably still demands a short delay to allow better preparation but frankly it would probably be better for the crash to occur, for the pain to be visible for a shock to change the whole democratic system in the UK.
The other option is to defer the whole Brexit. This could be a very long extension (5 years?) or to withdraw the article 50. This would need to a “great debate” similar to that in France but conditions today would not allow that to take place in an objective way and especially credible way unless a new class of politiciens emerge and the media is somehow brought under control. A second referendum without such a process to educate the voters would risk the same un-informed outcome as last time – and I don’t mean the result, the decision, but the process.
Neither of these options can be very attractive to Brussels where everyone is weary of the mess. Whichever route is chosen, there are years of rebuilding ahead; for Brits returning to Brussels or to re-establish a working executive in London. It is hard to see the UK surviving and Scotland will get its independence and Ireland re-united.
So Theresa May’s legacy, enabled by David Cameron’s referendum is likely to be the break-up of the union ending over 200 years of history and changing Europe yet again. We are certainly living a historical moment. What a mess.
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