So it is the new year and where are we with Brexit? Exactly where we were the day after the vote to leave was taken that is: we are still members of the EU; we still pay our dues in full and we still benefit from being members. This will continue to be the case once the article 50 mechanics have been activated. From everything I have read and heard nothing much will change either much before the end of 2017 other than we will all be embarrassed by the posturing by both the British and EU side during the first real negotiations towards the end of this year. It may well be that should I write about Brexit this time next year the headlines will be screaming about some offences or other that they have done to us or we have done to them. It will probably be couched in apocalyptic terms and it will seem that things are going to collapse but they probably won’t but what if they do? What will the British government do then? More to the point what will the British Parliament do then?
The clear answer is nobody really knows but if things do go bad by the end of this year or the beginning of next year then there may well be a snap election called by the government or at least they may try but as I have explained before it isn’t their choice but parliaments. What if the terms that have come out the negotiations are so bad that we simply can’t accept them? This is unlikely as the EU has as much to lose by such an approach as we do but if that were the case then parliament may well step in and say No. The only way around this constitutional crises of epic proportions would be an election or new referendum along the lines ‘did you really want to leave the EU on these terms?’
Or something else will happen or something else or something else. The true answer to all of these questions is that no one, if they are being truthful has got the first clue as to how the next two years are going work out and anyone who says they do isn’t telling you the truth. Perhaps that might well be the litmus test on which to judge the validity of what a person is saying about the Brexit negotiations? Do you know what is or will happen? If the answer is yes then they are lying. If the answer is no then they are probably telling the truth.
How did we get into this fine mess? I think the answer is far too long and complicated to address here but we are all, both sides of the English Channel and Irish Sea in for one heck of a ride – at least it’s reassuring that other bulwark of stability the United States of America is being lead by a calm well tested leader who will balance up all the information before acting. No wait he leaves office in a couple of weeks time. The apocryphal Chinese curse about living in interesting times has never seemed so relevant.