So after 9 months time elapse since the EU Referendum, the UK government is now about to trigger Article 50, given the required legislation has been passed by both Houses of Parliament, and the necessary divorce negotiations will then follow, but plenty of folk are NOT impressed. As for me, I am at pleased and hopeful, even if I am nervous. My main disappointment is it has taken this time to get where we are and a a dearth of leadership and vision among our leaders of life outside the EU. When I gave my reasons for wanting to leave the EU, in May 2016, I little expected the USA would elect Trump as President in November, giving us another good reason for leaving – the chance to join forces in fighting global tyranny.
Ironically, while I am anti-globalist, I am also pro the Union (between England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland). The irony is, some of those that want to see the break up of the Union have taken further ammunition for their fight, in the light of the UK coming out of the EU, given the form of Brexit that is being proposed is a hard one (i.e. no Single Market, which in my naivety I thought was what would happen when we did decide to leave in the first place). I am thinking particularly of Nicola Sturgeon who has been forthright giving her views. I am still trying to come to terms with on one hand the rising tide of nationalism and yet those same nationalists being willing to sacrifice national sovereignty, which is what will happen if their countries are to remain as part of the EU.
The ensuing war of words between the Scotland First Minister and the UK Prime Minister, Theresa May, has attracted a good deal of publicity. On one hand Sturgeon is accusing May of not listening to the concerns of the Scottish people, and given the majority of Scots voted to remain in the EU, these are sufficient grounds for calling for another Scottish referendum for people to decide whether or not to remain in the UK. On the other hand, May has warned Nicola Sturgeon now is “not the time to play politics or create uncertainty” and has indicated she will not change course on Brexit negotiations as a sop to win over Sturgeon and her cronies, and would oppose calls for a second referendum, coming so soon after the first one.
In my social media feed yesterday, one person provided a tweet: “Well done Cameron and May for triggering the break up of the union”. Sensing the irony and disagreeing with those sentiments, I responded by writing: “what they triggered could / should be the strengthening of the union”. The expected reaction did come and a few resolved to put me in my place for having the temerity for making the suggestions I did. This blog post is in part, my explanation for responding as I did. Ever since I was a young lad, my parents and teachers instilled on me a sense of pride of being British as opposed to merely English. While I have no problem rubbing shoulders and interacting with foreigners, including them from EU countries, there is much about the EU I dislike and why I voted Leave. I don’t have that problem with Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, whose values and culture we share, who has stood with us in our times of need, in way Europe has not, for example in fighting two World Wars. It seemed to me that by having EU props taken away from us, this was a time for our four countries to unite.
I am no fan of Sturgeon. She strikes me as a drama queen and an opportunist, who has put personal ambition ahead of serving those she represents. She seems to me to represent the worst aspects of divide and rule. Her nationalist ideals are a far cry to how I wish things to be. But I am not a fan of May either, even though I am hopeful she will make a good Brexit deal. The lack of movement over affordable homes and her pandering to immoral regimes like the Saudis, to give but two examples, are things to which I am opposed. I hope she holds her nerve though and that an advantageous deal is reached that releases us from the EU nightmare. As the above meme image suggests, not only are we in danger of seeing Scotland leave the Union but Northern Ireland too, and who knows – Wales after that. That would be a sad day and one I hope will not come.