So this is it…the crack of doom. No more a great nation. No more a rich and influential place to do business. No More. No More. No More.
All of this is nonsense. Britain has endured over three hundred years and England for a further nine hundred years before that. In short we have been through much worse than what is unfolding at Westminster at the moment. We will survive.
I guess the thing that is really annoying me is the sight of so much, how can one put this? Vote Leave bus lying from all sides. People who are supposed to lead don’t but for reasons that have nothing to do the nation but rather their own narrow political advantage. Theresa May seems to place Conservative party unity over anything else; Jeremy Corbyn seems to be under the delusion that any General Election would benefit Labour so that is all he is interested in; The European Union seems to think that isolating Britain from their perfect union is somehow going to benefit them.
None of these things are true: The Conservative party is busted – literally dying in front of us; If there is one thing that will unite the country more than utter disgust at what is passing for political leadership is the antipathy towards Jeremy Corbyn – it is not beyond the bounds of reason that he might lose seats rather than gain them if any General Election were to be called and as for the European Union well where to start? They have a currency that doesn’t work, that is unless you are German; a federalist centre that doesn’t appear to understand that the world beyond Brussels doesn’t see the EU as a shining city on the hill but rather, well I think you can add your own metaphor here and an ever increasing migration crisis that is pulling apart the conceits at the heart of the EU.
Given all of these problems facing the EU they would not be helped by a ‘no deal’ Britain sitting in the centre of the union pulling it apart due to the gravitational pull of a large economy (still the second largest in the EU and bigger than the bottom 19 economies of the EU combined), the only truly functioning (just about) defence and intelligence system in Europe, a permanent seat on the UN security council and the most dynamic city in the EU – London. The first country to be destabilised of course would be the Republic of Ireland but it wouldn’t take much for other countries such as Denmark, Sweden and perhaps even the Netherlands to feel the pull of Britain. As with all crashes it isn’t going to be pretty and both sides are going to get hurt. So the next time you hear President Macron claiming it would be better to let Britain leave without a deal just wonder at his delusion. It wouldn’t but that doesn’t mean it won’t happen.
So we are all in a right mess and for me the only answer is a second referendum with a simple question – Do you still want to leave the European Union? If the answer is yes then we leave at the earliest opportunity perhaps no more than 3 month whether we have a withdrawal agreement or not. It would take guts and leadership to propose this (both in very very short supply) but what is the alternative? A General Election which is likely to be no more decisive than the last – even if Corbyn was to lead Labour to becoming the largest party in the Commons (they are very very unlikely to get a majority – I wrote about this just after the last election and my arguments then, I feel, are still valid.) So we are back to the same problems of trying to rule with a minority government in a system that only works when the government has a majority. However, with the decision taken away from the politicians but given back to a far more informed public than they were three years ago, then at least the way forward would be clear – stay or leave. Is it perfect? No. Would it work? Perhaps. I think this is the best that we can hope for at the moment.