Just another day in the crazy upside down world of Brexit. Yesterday the German Chancellor had the shocking temerity to actually do something that was in her interest rather than the Brexiteers and they were shocked. It seems that when Frau Merkel says something she means it and so will not allow any negotiations about Brexit until Britain has formally activated article 50 which may well take place next year. You will note the uncertain date of this as the legal cases seem to be coming thick and fast about this so goodness knows when the article 50 notification will take place. My guess, for what it is worth, is that it will be in the first half of 2017 but that is only a guess and given everything else that has happened I wouldn’t place any money on that.
So what was the latest affront the honour of Brexit? It seems that the British had tried to get some sort of deal on reciprocal rights of non British EU citizens living in Britain and British citizens living outside of Britain but inside the EU. This seems a perfectly legitimate and humane thing to do on the surface and should rightly be condemned if something wasn’t sorted out. However, when you think about this for just a moment you start to see the pitfalls attached. A fit young Polish worker in Britain probably won’t make too much use of the health service when compared to an older retired British citizen living in the south of Spain. Both, because of their respective countries membership of the EU can use the respective health provision where they are currently live. It is reasonable to assume the cost of health provision for a retired person may well be significantly higher than the young fit worker and so would be a much heavier strain on the Spanish system than the British. So who has to pay for this once Britain has left the EU? I am sure that the Spanish may well have something to say about this and no doubt would want a means of charging Britain for the health care provided or remove it all together thus making the pensioner buy health insurance, if available.
So why exactly should the EU negotiate on this before Britain serves notice to quit? I cannot see any reason at all other than to help the Brexit supporters out of a pickle of their own making. There are a million other examples that could be brought up to show the complexity of disentangling Britain from the EU which to listen to the Brexiteers just don’t seem to matter.
We are going to leave the EU of that I have no doubt (well most likely anyway – this level of certainty is warranted by what has happened so far. ). What that looks like I haven’t got the first clue but you can guarantee that it will be messy and will take many years to finally agree on. At the moment there is a lot of hot air and posturing going on by both sides and it is to be hoped that once the negotiations start to take place things might be a little more civilised and hopefully productive as both sides have far more to lose than gain by being intransigent. However, just because something is logical doesn’t mean it happens otherwise why would we build two aircraft carriers with no aircraft to fly from them?
One final thought about this whole nonsense. We should be just getting use to life outside the EU when the next election will be taking place. I suspect that by then many of the necessary compromises on both side would be roundly condemned by the many Brexiteers, Boris Johnson to resign over them? I somehow don’t think that would be the case. However, it would be a god send to UKIP as they try and portray themselves as the only party of Brexit purity. Of course by then this might be a death wish who knows? I certainly don’t and you should truly suspect anyone who says they do.
The only advice I would give anyone is this….hope for the best but plan for the worst!
Google’s spell checker doesn’t recognise the word Brexiteer and instead offers the word Profiteer – coincidence?