When Cameron opened his mouth and declared that a referendum would be run on the UK’s membership of the EU I knew it would descend into insanity. Regardless of the claims of ‘listening to the people’ this was only ever suggested in an ever futile attempt to unify a Conservative Party that has been divided on the issue for decades; any British citizen that thinks it was a project launched to eagerly listen and address their desires for ‘more control of borders’ or ‘freedom from eurocrats’ is deluded. The political masters in Westmister don’t care about your desires beyond maintaining their grip on power and wealth.
The EU stated its position from the outset. There could not be a situation where a member of a club leaves that club and keeps the entitlements of that club without financially contributing to its running. It isn’t a difficult concept to understand.
More significantly, and this was always going to be the keystone failure of any of the extreme Brexiteer demands, the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland would be the major problem to resolve. The Good Friday Agreement was a major and complicated arrangement, negotiated to accommodate the political and social histories and aspirations of what had previously seemed impossibly intractable differences. This agreement built the rules of civic and state responsibilities between two state governments establishing the governance of Northen Ireland within the UK, the relationship between the UK and the Republic of Ireland and the relationship between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
Following Bloody Sunday in 1972 both overt and secret negotiation between the different parties continued. Agreements were made, lost and modified. Slowly political progress crawled its way towards the Good Friday Agreement via the Sunningdale Agreement (1973), the Anglo-Irish Agreement (1985) and The Downing Street Declaration (1993). In a nutshell… it was fucking complicated. But clearly the politicians of today don’t do complicated.
One of the key parts underpinning the success of the peace was the removal of border controls between the north and south of the island – something easily made possible because both states were members of the European community.
Brexiters continually demand the right to ‘take control of their borders’ but don’t seem to recognise the importance of a border between what will become two independent economic states. It’s another case of having your cake and eating it. They want to pick and choose what borders they recognise; it doesn’t work like that. Europe has tried to accommodate this by offering Northern Ireland stays (economically) within the EU and the border can then be at ports and airports – but the Brexiters don’t want any part of the UK subject to EU economic legislative control.
So since the Brexit decision we’ve had to listen to pig-shit thick politicians come up with ideas like the as yet uninvented technological solutions of scanning (I presume moving) vehicles and mobile customs officers (based no-one knows where). If an invisible, electronic border was possible why would we have physical borders anywhere in the world?
And while I’m here… the endlessly touted cry of the UK economy being saved by ‘World Trade Rules’…
The nearest thing I can compare this to is Doctor Who’s sonic screwdriver or the Star Trek standard of ‘reverse the polarity’ on whatever technological fix isn’t saving the day so that it… saves the day.
World Trade Rules is not a simple solution, nor a quick one. The UK would not be starting with all the other players from the same point. If a preferential arrangement is made for one country, then under World Trade Rules it must be offered to all. The UK cannot pick and choose who it offers tariff free trade with. And importantly the UK, particularly in manufacturing and agriculture (the mainstays of the real economy that affects the day to day lives of the population), is a small player. Small players do not have power, whatever romantic and deluded ideas of British exceptionalism are clutched on to.
Now that the British electorate are more informed as to the ramifications of the Brexit potentials on offer surely a further and final referendum offering the three options is the most democratic way forward. Deal, no deal or stop it all – and return to the relative existing economic security of the EU and work from within to adapt it and fix its problems to address the changed world we’re all facing.
The politicians are incapable as long as they’re putting party, ideology and in some cases considerations of personal gain, before their supposed celebration of the people’s will and democratic right.
I’ll put my hands up and happily state that whatever choice is made (should a further, more informed) referendum take place – I will accept it as the informed, democratic choice of the people of Britain. I may disagree with it – but I will accept it.
2 thoughts on “Watching the politicians (Brexit again)”
Thank you for the insight and explanation. If the Brexit debacle is difficult to understand for a local, it’s almost impossible to an outsider. Your writing helped.
Well said ! As a fellow UK citizen living in Brittany, it’s feeling like watching the Titanic sink.