I don’t want to be a like a rewinding gramophone record, but if you want to listen then go back to my first five Brexitwatch installments. Long ago, I put on record my belief the UK government and the political establishment sold us out on Brexit. They should have done their best to tie up the loose ends and left with no deal, given it was never the intention of the EU to give us one that was acceptable, at least as far as most of the 17 million people who voted to leave in the EU referendum were concerned. Instead, those negotiating Brexit allowed the UK to be backed into corner by their EU counterparts with a subsequent loss of face and credibility as a result.
So the big development following posting three days ago is the request to extend the Leave date (kick the can down the road) has been granted, albeit with conditions along with condescending counsel as to what we can and can’t do, and that date is 31st October. This followed Mrs May’s frenetic visit to key EU players, including Merkel, Macron and Tusk. The Conservatives are in disarray with rebellion against Mrs May being seen among members, and while saying she says she is open to what Labourites want regarding a “deal” it appears we are now looking at a softer version of her thrice defeated withdrawal agreement. Whether she really believes it can be done, Mrs May has declared her hope that a deal can be agreed by the UK Parliament before the MEP elections on May 23rd. Personally, I will be surprised, but soon we will know.
The plot continues to thicken and it appears the two options before us are remain in the EU and a soft Brexit. I have just learnt that the government has ordered preparations for a no deal Brexit to stop, another sorry event in this sad saga. We are also now resigned that the UK will have to contest the EU elections. I wouldn’t discount the mounting anger of the British people that they have been betrayed by their elected representatives, having little confidence in their ability to lead, or an act of God giving an outcome we don’t expect. My hope is that we will leave with no deal and following that do our utmost to restore good relations with our EU neigbours, while being able to trade on WTO terms etc. in the UK best interest but, as I keep reminding myself, we are in the Lord’s hands and He will have the final word. Regarding EU elections, the launch of the Brexit party has happened, declaring it will contest every MEP seat.
It is early days and there will no doubt be many developments leading up to MEP elections which, while in one sense appear to be irrelevant, will provide a strong indicator of the national mood. Before that there are local elections on May 2nd and I don’t expect the main parties, especially Conservative, to do well, which as I have said is regrettable as it should be about local issues. There is still UKIP to consider, who are contesting a number of seats on my own area. I would much rather see a hard working, community minded Tory elected over a disengaged Kipper, seeing his/her chance to get in because of people’s anger with the Tories. Again, we will soon know. I hope UKIP and this new party can work with rather against each other and it won’t be about Nigel Farage’s ego or his anti Tommy Robinson sentiments but will contribute to better politics for the UK, which is in all our interests despite our views on Brexit.