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Brexit Means Fudge

By Rob Slane | The Blog Mire | November 16, 2018

I’m thinking of starting a new line of sweets called Brexit Fudge. It will of course be inedible and no-one in their right mind will buy it, but I’m convinced that there may be a market for it in Westminster and at the BBC. If only I can get the marketing right.

My interest in Brexit waned fairly soon after 23rd June 2016, partly on account of becoming tired listening to the Downing Street Parrot hoodwinking people into thinking she actually believed in removing the UK from the EU, by the repeated squawking of the phrase “Brexit means Brexit”. But even more so was I numbed to the whole thing, since I was quite convinced from the morning of 24th June that the powers that be had no intention of actually honouring the votes of the 17 million+ plebeians who dared to vote in a way that they apparently ought not to have done.

As I wrote back here on 29th June 2016:

“I don’t usually like to indulge in prophetic utterances, and I’m not sure I would describe this as such an attempt – more an informed hunch – but I believe that the 17,410,742 people who just expressed their opinion in a democratic vote to leave the European Union are about to find themselves involved in what can only be described as the mother of all stitch ups. Brexit just isn’t going to happen!!!”

And this:

“Curiously, Brexit doesn’t seem to have brought forth the same gushing praise from these people for the wonders of people exercising their democratic rights. Instead, the talk is about “walking back” the result. Should this happen, and the democratic result be overturned by technique, obfuscation, delaying tactics, propaganda and sheer manipulation, then this time we will have ourselves another coup. Only this time it will be a coup on behalf of the regime against the people. I hate to say it, but be prepared for the mother of all stitch ups. Better trust in God and keep your powder dry.”

And so it is. After two years of “Brexit means Brexit”, we find out that “Brexit means Fudge”. But actually it’s much worse than that. I mean, fudge is normally very good and who could possibly be against it? But the draft Withdrawal Agreement? Who could possibly be in favour of it, except the woman who is determined to hang onto power by her fingernails, Mrs Theresa May (or John Major in a power-suit as I like to think of her), and some sad individuals who are more worried about their place in Parliament than the future of their country.

For those who are interested, there is a good summary here of the major problems with the deal, including:

  • Being locked into the European Court of Human Rights
  • Being bound to a Customs Union, the rules of which would be set by the EU, but over which we would have no say
  • Being left without control of our fisheries, and only able to comment on (but not affect change) of the management of the Common Fisheries Policy.

But the biggie is this:

Article 132: Notwithstanding Article 126, the Joint Committee may, before 1 July 2020, adopt a single decision extending the transition period up to [31 December 20XX].”

As Lee Rotherham writes:

“It’s what you might call the Odysseus Clause. It’s Article 132 – where the drafters can barely commit to finally fully leaving the EU this century

The drafters have not even bothered to put in 202X to make a point that they expect transition to take a decade or so at most. So all the problems with the transitional deal, accepted because they are seen as transitional, could quite plausibly turn out to be permanent — or at least, long lasting enough to cause serious damage to our economy, to our democracy, and to our national credibility.”

This is clearly not what 17,410,742 people thought they were voting for on 23rd June 2016. But just as crucially, it’s not even what the 16,141,241 who voted Remain thought they were voting against. The former voted to become an independent, sovereign state once again. The later voted to remain part of the European Union. Mrs John Major’s Withdrawal Agreement formally takes us out of the EU, but essentially leaves us in, only without any say, without any end in sight, and unable to decide when that end should be. If it’s Fudge, it’s Impotent Fudge.

The situation is pretty much what Peter Hitchens predicted back here:

“It seems to me that when you have a country where the political establishment, the legal profession and most of the media, particularly the BBC, is in favour of staying, it’d be very difficult to actually leave. That’s what’s now happening. The Leave vote is being frustrated. We will formally leave the EU but we go from being half-in the EU, which we are now, to half-out the EU.”

The problem, as he correctly identified it, was always that we had a political decision taken by the majority of people, but no political party to implement that decision, not to mention an entire establishment that, by and large, was and is and will continue to be against that decision. The spectacle of a pro-Remain Prime Minister charged with implementing a decision which she didn’t support, is one of the wonders of our time, and is a bit like a builder being asked to build a house that he hates and doesn’t actually want to build.

What happens next? Very difficult to say. But I imagine there will be a General Election fairly soon. But the question is, what would you actually be voting for? You’d have two parties who actively loathe the idea of actually carrying out the result of the referendum, and another party the majority of whose MPs also loathe the idea, but who would be asking you to vote for them as they are “the only ones who can be trusted to fulfil the result of the referendum.” Except that they’ve just proven that they can’t be trusted.

It’s an almighty mess and there’s a huge constitutional crisis brewing. I assume that if Mrs May fails to get this agreement passed, at some point the establishment will simply say we need a second referendum (which in itself will teach us all we need to know about the laughable claims that we are a democracy). But what would the question be? Could you even have the same binary question as in 2016? It would be a bit of a joke, wouldn’t it?

“Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union?”

Sorry, we answered that back in 2016, didn’t we, but then there was no-one amongst the elite willing or competent enough to honour it. So my answer remains the same, which was no, but do I believe that any of the current political establishment actually has the desire, the ability and the savvy to achieve this? Nay, nay and thrice nay. Needless to say, it doesn’t bode well for the future of the country when so many people find themselves entirely unrepresented.

Perhaps we do need another referendum, but with an entirely different question:

“Do you believe the current political establishment has proven that it is unfit for purpose and needs replacing?”

Both Leavers and Remainers ought to be able to agree on that.

November 17, 2018 - Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception, Economics | ,

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