Brexit goes wrong

Brexit goes wrong

Brexit goes wrong

Brexit proposals being announced put Britain in a worse relationship with the EU than it was as a member. My clue for saying this? That the separation document runs to 500+ pages. Goodbyes are difficult, nobody doubts that. Goodbyes that run to 500 pages are not goodbyes. They are ‘ifs and ands’. Heavily conditional goodbyes are the worst of all kinds. Britain isn’t leaving the EU. It is becoming an adjunct. It will obey EU rules but not be at the table to discuss them. Awful not to see Britain represented at the Arc de Triomphe on Armistice Day. A sad exit from a world position.

Nowhere on the referendum ballot to decide Britain’s future with the EU was this new relationship spelt out. Nobody would have published the voting paper if it had been. You cannot be more stupid than getting divorced with no right to determine your future relationships. Nor can you be cut off from a sizeable and important part of your family. Britain fought to retain that family (mostly sheep) in the Falklands war. Why would she risk losing Northern Ireland now?

No Member of the British Parliament worth his or her salt can possibly vote for the offer on the table. To do so is to put Britain in an impossible situation for the foreseeable future. The world isn’t going to wait for that. It is a shocking indictment of British political weakness that the compromises being sought by the Prime Minister reflect the ability to stay in office not a reason for doing so. You may argue that that is politics. I reply that politics without sense and guts is worthless.

The Brexit scene has changed many times since the referendum. Worldwide populist politics, the emphasis on country not world, implies a difficulty in recognising that what ultimately matters – the next and following generations – be jettisoned in favour of fun today. An education system that allows us to view a world threatened by relationship problems, all man made, as something someone else can sort out is a poor system at best, a wicked one at worst. Personally I want continuity of life on earth, not just for my family but for everyone else’s too.

It doesn’t take Einstein to realise that we are all involved in Brexit. Knowing that we largely created the problem is comforting because it means we can do something to correct the imbalance that has occurred. But not if we fight our little corner at the expense of the neighbours. Europe is a small enough territory for us to make common cause. Historically we have failed to do that until the last fifty years or so. Are we now about to unravel it all just because the going gets tough?

The argument that time is a great healer won’t work in the current European situation. Britain’s exit from EU is not just about Britain. It is about twenty-seven other countries as well. Britain may think it is smart to protect its own situation and to hell with the rest. That is not smart, it is outrageous. Even more outrageous is the fact that clearly the British mood has changed. Many who voted to leave the EU now wish they hadn’t. Many who didn’t vote but would have voted to remain now wish they had.

The chaos that is about to ensue is worse than frightening. It is a threat to democracy in the Mother of Parliaments.

If the people aren’t given the chance of another say it will destroy what faith is left in the system.

And there is already precious little of that.