When lost in a never ending storm it is always worth stating known facts rather than speculation based on speculation when trying to navigate your way out of the maelstrom . So before I start to speculate these are the known facts as they stand:
- In 2016 the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (UK) voted to leave the European Union (EU) in a referendum;
- A General Election was held in 2017 when both Labour and Conservatives promised to honour the result of the 2016 referendum;
- The parliament of the the UK legislated to leave the EU on a specific date (European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018.) The original date was amended by the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2019 to the current one of 31st October 2019;
- A withdrawal agreement has been reached between the then government of the UK which, when presented to the House of Commons was defeated three times by a significant margin.
Now, much as I might not want the UK to leave the EU, I can’t argue with any of those facts. The upshot of which means that the UK will leave the EU at 23:00 hours on the 31st October 2019. We might be able to agree some form of agreement with the EU between now and that date but unless the Act of Parliament is amended (by a similar act as the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2019) then we will leave on the 31st of October 2019. I do not believe there is anything in the 2018 nor 2019 Act of Parliament to say that we can only leave with some form of withdrawal agreement but rather we are going to leave…(you get the idea.)
I know the above does sound all very Brexiterish but it is not meant to be. These are the facts and I know I want to stay in the EU but I cannot ignore them, as many of the remain politicians seem to want to (if I hear one more time Parliament didn’t vote to leave without a deal then I will scream! Parliament has refused to approve a deal and nothing was included in the substantive Act nor its amending act to say a withdrawal agreement must be agreed before leaving. The House of Commons has had plenty of opportunity to do so and it has not.)
This brings us to what will happen in the first week of Parliament’s return – will there be a vote of no confidence? If we disregard all the nonsense talk of a government of National Unity lead by Jeremy Corbyn (I can think of no better definition of an oxymoron.) Then should the Johnson government fall in such a vote we will be having a General Election just at the time when we will need our political classes to be concentrating on amiliating any of the outcomes outlined in the Operation Yellowhammer document and also passing all the legislation needed to make sure the statute book is in order by the 31st October 2019. Should the Johnson government fall the argument that the outgoing shouldn’t do anything controversial during the run up to the election doesn’t apply to leaving the EU as this is a substantive Act of Parliament. It would be like saying that an outgoing government shouldn’t ensure that the Theft Act was enforced. So forcing the Johnson government to fall will mean we have no government just at the time we need a government more than ever. I cannot see how that is in the National Interest no matter what I might think about Boris Johnson et al.
I don’t want the UK to leave the EU but I am afraid the time for such a debate has passed. We all now have to prepare as best we can for life outside the EU. We remainers will just have to accept we lost and make the best of what will always be a suboptimal world post 31st October.
One final thought. Should the UK leave the EU without a deal it will be a huge diplomatic failure on both sides. Britain will have increased trade barriers with its largest trading partner and may have soured relations with them for sometime to come. The European Union will have ensured that the one thing they were trying to prevent, a hard border on the island of Ireland, will be a reality by the 1st November 2019 whilst at the same time will have to deal with the huge destabilizing economy at the geographical heart of the EU – if Kent is going to become a lorry park then so is northern France. They will both try and dress it all up as the other’s fault but it is fault on both sides. Nobody will win from this mess and don’t believe a word from anyone who claims otherwise.
Cry Havoc and let slip the dogs of...