It has been over a month since I added to my Brexitwatch series. Having seen a flurry of activity prior to the last time I published, things seemed to go quiet for a while, assisted by the Easter break and the local elections. But things have begun to pick up again if mainstream media is to be believed, even though little has transpired to break the impasse, and if anything this has intensified with positions entrenched. The government are looking to have a fourth bite of the cherry and get their withdrawal proposal agreed by dealing with the enemy (Labour), but word is it won’t happen this time either and Parliament have already said no to a no deal Brexit.
Except we are just a week away from having the election that was not supposed to happen – our voting for MEPs to represent us in the European Parliament. If the 30th October deadline for getting out of the EU is to be believed the MEPs tenure will be a short one. European elections have never been taken that seriously – after all MEPs don’t hold much real power, and this was evidenced a few years back when UKIP topped the poll in the European election and came nowhere in the General election not so long after, although one outcome arguably was it did help to trigger the EU referendum. But this time it may be different and it will be an opportunity for voters to register their discontent over Brexit betrayal.
Enter two new kids on the block political party wise: the Brexit party, who are doing superbly well according to the polls, looking to and succeeding in attracting Leaver discontents, and Change UK, who have not got their act together and are not doing well according to the polls, looking to attract the Remainers who don’t like the extremism and dithering of the Conservative and Labour parties. I suspect I will end up voting for the Brexit Party although no one has satisfactorily convinced me why we need them as well as UKIP competing to champion the concerns of the get out of the EU forthwith brigade. While UKIP are a proper party insofar it has policies beyond getting out of the EU they are tainted with an extremist and rabid element from which many nice Brexiteers recoil. While the Brexit Party seem very lightweight when it comes to setting out policies they are well organized and seem nicer and, besides, isn’t the point to mobilize those who wish to vent their anger at being let down by the Labour and Conservative parties. I doubt LibDems will do as well as they did in the local elections but suspect the Greens could do even better, attracting remainer discontents who care about the environment.
While what we are seeing appears to be a deadlock, it wouldn’t surprise me that the Brexit party will do exceedingly well on May 23rd and this may be a key factor to break the deadlock, because the main political parties will be forced to accommodate the concerns of those voting. While I maintain my position that if we can’t reach a deal with the EU that delivers in the spirit of the referendum result we simply leave, I hear the concerns of those who maintain if we did the poor will suffer most. While we can blame the government for making this so by making terrible decisions and awful negotiating, and at a late stage pulling away from making contingency plans for a no deal possibility, those concerns can’t be discounted. I also can’t figure out why on a whole string of practical issues agreement can’t be made, which all reasonable persons agree to be in everyone’s interest. Despite wanting the Brexit fiasco to be over, for us to be free from EU shackles and for credible rulers to be running the country, I realize there are loose ends to tie up and while I feel frustrated we are in a position we are in, which we could and should have avoided, we must be patient. Time and chance overtakes us all, including happenings few foresee. Mercifully, whether it is the right or the wrong decision that is made, God is on His Throne.