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Brexit: Storms in Channel, Continent isolated

Sep 08, 2019
A personal opinion, by Deputy Editor, David Jordan
Brexit


Whichever side of the Brexit argument you support, there’s one thing everyone in the UK can agree on. We’re all fed up to the back teeth of the uncertainty, worry and division the whole debacle has created in our country and our politicians’ apparent inability to deal with the issues.

With only a few weeks left before - according to our new leader Boris Johnson - we leave the EU “with or without a deal, do or die”, we appear to be no closer to finding a solution than when we began negotiations back in 2016.

As I write, the prospect of a no deal looks most likely, and while 52% of the electorate voted to leave I doubt they expected our government, hitherto considered to be the finest parliamentary democracy in the world, to plunge us into the chaos we now face.

Those who voted leave no doubt did so in good faith, many having listened to the words of Boris Johnson, Nigel Farage, Michael Gove and others condemning the EU: promising to reclaim our country from the unelected bureaucrats in Brussels, stop free movement within Europe and redirect £350, 000,000 a week to the NHS. The trouble is, to paraphrase Donald Tusk, they didn’t have even a sketch of a plan of how to carry it out. Astonishingly, no one seems to have even thought about the Irish border, despite it now being the most intractable issue.

After the referendum, former Prime Minister Theresa May did her level best to negotiate a deal which would please everyone, but in the end pleased no one.  Now we have Boris in charge, who for all his charisma and ability to quote from the classics, is unlikely in my opinion to save the day. With the clock ticking and only weeks left before B-Day we need more than nationalistic over-optimism, Churchillesque rhetoric, and arm waving to get us out of this mess – we need a plan!

The EU has said it will not renegotiate ‘the deal’ while many in Britain still seem to believe they need us more than we need them - a sort of ‘storms in Channel, Continent isolated’ approach. That may have been true once, but the world has moved on and although a no deal would damage the EU to some extent, the UK has far more to lose; certainly in the short to medium term.

Maybe I’m being too cynical and pessimistic and Boris Johnson’s claim that Brexit will make Britain “the greatest place on Earth” will come to pass. Only time will tell.

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