Our Daily Brexit
Our Daily Brexit
Dominating the Brexit scene from the beginning has been an almost total lack of strategy and a dependence on tactics. From the start, Mrs May has tried to protect her party with an ill-conceived general election which left her without a majority in the House of Commons. She compounded her tactic by involving the DUP as her support group. It has left her vulnerable to complications about the Irish backstop which should never have been there in the first place. Three failed submissions to Parliament and she has ended up tactically seeking the Opposition’s support.
Strategists other than Mrs May would have already sought the electorate’s views, proposed a way of dealing with what is clearly an almost totally 50-50 voter split and presenting the country with what now seems likely to be the consequence of Brexit anyway – a soft Brexit, which means, as the Daily Paradox said a long time ago, Half in, Half out. That is a relationship that will cause even Strong Remainers like me to gasp with horror. Control by someone you have no hold over has analogies with personal relationships we won’t trouble to describe. This of course satisfies nobody, and will cause a general election sooner rather than later anyway.
The Opposition has been no less guilty of tactics, although the bat and the ball have been in the Prime Minister’s hands as they always are. Now, the Opposition must play tactically in its own interests, rather than in the country’s. If you want to ask about political tactics, you can do no better than seek the advice of Petro Poroshenko, President of the Ukraine. He is being replaced by a comedian. Come to think of it, maybe Ukraine is ahead of Britain after all. Think of it again – maybe, only just.
A meeting that lasts seven hours is not a meeting but a torture chamber. Saddest of all, nobody of stature emerged from a seven-hour meeting. They never will. People of stature emerge from 40-minute meetings, or no meetings at all. The British Government has lost control of itself, of the nation and of the issue. The European Union has problems, too, but is in the only position to make a sensible contribution to solving the dilemma. The EU must insist on an extension of not less than a year, to 30Jun20, in which Britain sorts itself out, holds an election (not another referendum), and prepares itself to enter the political age of the 21st Century.
If it has not learnt from Trump, Ukraine, Italy, Greece and others it isn’t learning. If it isn’t learning it will end up a third-rate tax haven, and judging by the standards of Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs, a pretty poor third rate at that. The final scene of Brexit will not be played out in my lifetime nor in the lifetime of anyone born pre-WWII. This means that the European Union may have lost its purpose before the curtain comes down.
An ageing annual service at a Cenotaph will not be fitting remembrance of so many who fought to preserve a polity of decency and representation of all, not just the majority.
Only a unity of purpose towards a better world can do that.
It seems a long way off right now.