Happy holidays to all my readers – well that’s cheered up a handful of folks on the internet!
Now but seriously – happy holidays to the MPs who are off for two full weeks holiday. Like … SERIOUSLY????!!!!! For a short while I wrote a blog about Brexit in the lead up to the referendum back in 2016 as I was concerned we’d vote to leave. I was also amazed at the rubbish campaigns that both leave and remain sides ran. There were outright lies and mistruths on both sides. So I had a blog pointing out facts. As a remainer I still follow some social media with the remain focus and notice a continual stream of facts about how leaving the EU will hurt the UK economy badly – anywhere between 7% – 10% worse off after a decade, that includes the governments own assessment. I see people pointing out that no country, including North Korea, trades exclusively on WTO rules as it is so detrimental to your own economy. But I’ve come to realise that facts and figures may repeatedly show this but we voted to leave and that vote for many people was an emotional vote, a heart vote not a head vote. So trotting all this back out in another referendum debate will do little to sway people.
When we voted to leave I thought that meant that we would simply crash out the EU with no trade arrangements with them or with anyone else and we’d have to renegotiate them over a number of years (decades?). Again the reason why I voted remain – the EU is far from perfect but much better to be inside and argue reform to allow us to do some form of additional local national trade deals etc. than simply rip up all the agreements and enter into a completely previously untested and untried arrangement. But then I was told we could have our cake and eat it – remain in someway linked closely to the EU without having to pay into it and to stop free movement (something I’m not against at all btw but seems to annoy a lot of others).
And here we are now. A deal that can’t get through parliament which is amusing to me. We’ve established in our own supreme court and the European court that the UK is a sovereign nation which parliament is the sovereign body. We can leave the EU unilaterally because of that and we could stop the process and remain in the EU with no change of UK rights (we have all the concessions about our own currency, not in the Shengen agreement etc.) However the deal ties us in this backstop that we can’t unilaterally get out of – I can see my the leavers are so angry. I’m simply bemused that in “taking back control” we appear to be in a worse position than we were. However the EU surely wouldn’t tolerate a large country no longer paying in and not accepting free movement (key cornerstones of the EU) whilst actually benefiting from full single market benefits. Has to be said – that is a far worse deal for them than us and laughable that the stalemate is them refusing to budge on it due to their commitment to Ireland and supporting the the Good Friday agreement.
So a deal we can’t get through parliament. A PM that has won a vote of confidence in her party and cannot be challenged until Dec 2017. About 100 days to go until we, most likely now, crash out of the EU with no agreement and we are thrown into chaos. 8% approx of all UK tax income comes from EU financial transactions carried out in the city of London. Just the loss of that is appalling to contemplate. It is to put no finer point on it a shit show. I can imagine plenty of employers are now asking various employees to limit their Christmas holidays to a minimum as they plan for the unimaginable position of 30th March – No Deal. Will planes fly? Will the ports seize up? How can they keep their supply and market lines flowing. How much of the tariffs possibly introduced overnight can they absorb, how much pass on to customers in price hikes etc. etc. etc. Many will be having a very challenging holiday period – I hope the MPs who could stop all that by having a voting, agreeing a way forward and just for once sticking to it for the good of the country enjoy their roast dinners and two week break.