A few days before the UK was scheduled to leave the EU (on March 29th 2019), an eventuality few expected to happen on time due to the dithering and acquiescing of Theresa May, aided and abetted by the unsympathetic establishment, I began my Brexitwatch series (see here), although I began blogging on the subject soon after the EU Referendum was announced. Today, as we actually leave, I write my seventeenth and final installment. I am under no illusion there is a lot in store concerning the aftermath and many loose ends to tie up and, even though the future may be exciting, it is unknown.
The Brexit saga as from 2300 Friday 31st January (today) will not end there, for at least one good reason – a clean break had not yet been agreed even though it is hoped it will happen by the end of 2020 and Boris (believe him or not) said it will. It was one reason why the “Boris deal”, which at the time he announced it I described as the unacceptable Theresa May Mark 3 deal with a twist and one not to be welcomed, and is why I decided to support Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party on the matter which, while no longer the force it might have been, can be credited with putting Brexit back on track!
I believed then as I do now and did from the outset that no deal was better than a bad deal. In my view, the EU is not the benign free trade collective and a vehicle to foster peace in a troubled world idea that was sold to us originally and was brought, but rather a corrupt, controlling institution that enslaves us and puts power in the hands of unaccountable bad guys, and one we should be out of altogether. Yet notwithstanding, endeavoring to work with our European allies and friends is a good thing and, to put the record straight, we love our European brethren even if we don’t love the European Union.
What became evident following Boris’ victory in the December 2019 election, which was not helped when prior to that the majority of parliamentarians were antipathetic toward Brexit and unwilling to break cleanly with the EU, aided by “the we know better elite”, despite promising that they would implement the peoples’ vote, was the many obstacles and impasses following the Referendum result in June 2016 that severely hampered progress to implementing the decision to leave, could now be overcome. This has proved the case and having witnessed three years of conflict and pathetic progress, things have proceeded ever so smoothly, with the big question remaining, what happens next with trade deals and EU relations?
Even among the most ardent remainers, there now appears to be an acceptance, albeit reluctantly, that the important first phase of “get Brexit done” (I do not believe that is the end of the matter however and therefore would argue that will only happen when all the loose ends have been tied up and the last shackle is removed) is going to happen and we all have to adjust to life outside of the EU. Yet I can’t ignore that what for some is a cause for celebrations, although on an official basis these are somewhat subdued, e.g. no Big Ben chiming, new fifty pence piece and other tokens aside. While Nigel had his last hurrah yesterday with his flag waving goodbye speech at the EU Parliament, and imho deserves more than any to celebrate at the Party on the Green, I am mindful of those who sang “Auld Lang Syne” in the same chamber, who represented a different sentiment.
I notice on my Facebook page today a letter posted by a councilor friend that the Council will not be doing anything special to celebrate the occasion and a posting by the proprietor of my favourite local pub that tonight his pub will be a Brexit free zone and an occasion that will especially attract anti-Brexiter clientele. As for me, I will go to bed early with a nice cup of cocoa and enjoy the show and I might just play my favourite Brexit song “17 million F offs“. What happens next is of course anyone’s guess, but I am optimistic. While the cynics have us down for being ripe to be screwed by the USA and led by an opportunist in Boris (on Huawei 5G roll out he is plainly WRONG imho), I am optimistic (I enjoyed LBC’s interview with Mike Pompeo – see here) providing we hold our nerve. Having listened to a BBC raido hosted dialogue involving two heavyweight politicians of yesterday, I noted Michael Portilo shared my optimism concerning post Brexit Britain and Margaret Beckett did not.
My biggest concern is the need for healing, not just on Brexit (I have lost several friends because of this and Trump) but the sort of world we live in. (When I complete this I will do a post on a meeting I attended in the week that gave me cause for optimism). I agree with Nigel that popularism has becoming understandably popular and is better than globalism, but there is also much injustice in the world to resolve and every opportunity for Brexiteers like me to work together with anti Brexit friends to do so. I ought to add as I conclude my Brexitwatch series that if anyone should be honoured in this whole affair and notwithstanding enormous, sometimes justified, criticism, it is Nigel (the quintessential pantomime villain) Farage, who unlike most people can “take it” as well as “give it” and like the prophets of old has long been banging an unpopular (with many) drum, before his first (in 1999) EU parliament speech.