Brexit shambles and uncertainty continues as the government suffers another humiliating defeat. Parliament struggles to find a way through an impasse which bears the stamp “made in England” – not made in Britain.
What was dreamed up by some in England (and set alight by papers) has drawn other nations in. Not only Scotland and Northern Ireland and, of course, Wales, but the other 27 nations of the EU. We seem to have forgotten the trouble we are putting these other nations in. What time and money this all must have cost! How distracting from other challenges facing us!
Slowly options are being narrowed down. There are very few people who want us to leave without a deal, and hopefully Parliament will take that option off the table today. And then there become two. There’s either the Withdrawal Agreement, which has been so decisively voted down in Parliament. The EU are insistent that there can be no other. But it does seem that would risk so much and there is no way of knowing what future trade deals there would be, or what manufacturing base would vote “remain” and remain, or what the effect of unravelling institutions for peace and research development. Or there is the deal which we already have as members of the EU.
Sadly Parliament has been unable to find a way through the impasse. It isn’t helped by the fact that truth is “spun” and so often not told. Parliament should be a safe container for our differences. Ideally those we elect represent our differences in that space and work to resolve them so that we can remain committed to one another. I fear what will happen if this safe space no longer works, what will happen if there is a further vote, whether that be a General Election or a second referendum. But I am beginning to see that that is what is going to happen. The people are going to be the ones with the casting vote. I dread the strife on our streets and in families. But it might have to come to this. It seems we have a choice between two:
- The Withdrawal agreement
- The deal we already have.
There is the third option of the deal which we can never have – that dreamt up by those in Never Never Land. It seems to boil down to a choice of two. The first is a vote to leave. The second is a vote to remain.
Oh no, not that again.
And where will our political parties lead us? The Conservatives are surely cornered as the Brexit party. But what about Labour? Now all options are looking exhausted, (and Parliament has been right to exhaust them), they surely now have to campaign at last on the deal we already have, which is in those two political and economic unions in which there is always room for improvement and reform – that is, the UK and the EU.
Credit to Teresa May. She voted remain but has worked tirelessly to deliver the vote of the referendum. And credit all those involved in both sides of the negotiations. They have tried to find a way – but perhaps there never was a way that would leave our nation any better off.
March 13th 2019
PS thanks to the billboard campaign @bydonkeys, as, for example, shown in the photo above.