Sunday, April 7, 2019

Brexit Endgame

Brexit Endgame

This week, appropriately beginning 1st April, Brexit descended into farce after merely being a two-year comedy of errors. In fact it went beyond farce and became more like one of those Shakespearian tragedies like King Lear where doomed tragic heroes begin behaving like clowns and demented court jesters. The doomed tragic hero in this case is the United Kingdom itself and its venerable (some would say senile) parliamentary system.

The people voted to leave the EU by a clear majority, but they elected a parliament that was 75% in favour of Remain.

This is because of the class bias of the Brexit vote (the Remain chattering classes versus the Brexit deplorables.) This required a superhuman abnegation on the part of MPs to implement the will of the people when they thought the people had gone mad. Some MPs were capable of this spirit of intellectual self-sacrifice for democracy’s sake. Most were not and fought tooth and nail to stop Brexit or water it down to the point of it losing all purpose. They kept up a dishonest mantra that what was voted for was not deliverable. It was only not deliverable because of them.

The EU bosses had two goals: stop the UK leaving, or, if they couldn’t, make leaving such a disaster for the UK it would deter anyone else. (Their political goals of power and unity trumped the economic interests of their citizens.) They took advantage of the fact that after May’s reckless snap election she was dependent on the Northern Irish DUP for a majority, and needed every single Conservative MP on side.

Most important will be the attitude of the EU when May asks for an extension next week.

  1. Will they grant a long extension in the hope that Brexit fires will burn out and a second referendum will cancel it? (Resigning themselves to more of Farage’s harangues in the EU parliament, cheered on by hordes of French and Italian populists.)
  2. Or will they call time and force the UK to choose between renouncing Brexit and leaving at once with no deal? (In other words, surrender or suffer — the endgame of the more Machiavellian plotters among them, but perhaps now also of the merely exasperated and despairing.)

If the EU chooses the second course, this may be a salutary kick in the pants for the most selfish, blinkered, factious political elite on the planet. It is always enlightening to learn how unloved and dispensable one is. If it happens, the ultimate revelation will be whether the UK parliament will still have enough tattered rags of pride left to walk away, or whether they will cringe and crawl one more time (this time forever) to the cracking of the whip of their masters in Brussels. This really will determine what sort of nation Britain is and will be.

No comments: