Less than 50 days to Brexit and here we are – who’d a think it? My perpetual moodiness with all things EU is being tempered while I write this, thanks to little ditties and soundbites from one Ms. Grande. Yes, I have vamped about the woman before – and rest assured she is not the focus of this article – but the new album, just listen to it. Ok? You’re welcome.
With her groove back, it’s time I retrieve mine too. I’ll be frank – a lot has happened and I’m not an encyclopaedia so if I have missed anything, or you want your knowledge shored up, I highly recommend Remainiacs on Spotify. Or Ian Dunt on Twitter. With those in mind, here’s the plan for this week. May and Corbyn, the defeat of the Cooper amendment along with the impact that it will have and the public’s perception of this chaos. Get ready for the bumpy road ahead.
With our PM and Mr. Opposition being locked in what seems more like a battle of ‘….what?’ than a battle of wits, it is an odd state of affairs as the former lies battered while the latter’s bitter. Our PM’s withdrawal agreement has seen multiple defeats, and Thursday saw her head to Brussels approximately seven minutes prior to the European Commission reminded her that the deal was not up for renegotiation. Waste of fuel or a waste of public faith? Research by Ipsos MORI (check ‘em out) show that the public has lost confidence in May’s ability to pull this off, with 50% believing her leadership on the issue is weak.
Such results and you’d assume Corbyn looks like the cherry on the cake. Well, perhaps not. The man is torn and seems only to appear from the shadows every Wednesday at midday to vent unendingly for a customs union to appear in the Brexit deal. Foolish man – if this is the only moment my political alignments appear unshrouded, then let it be know that I am a Labour supporter with sense, and I aim to parlay that sense into a firm ‘No’ should a general election arise before this is all over. Speaking of that, latest stats also show that at this time, there is only a 33% chance of a general election occurring this year. With his constituents backing a People’s Vote (look it up) and a failed vote of no confidence on his account, it seems we can sleep in the foetal position a little longer knowing that 10 Downing Street seems out of Corbyn’s grasp.
So while those two bickered there were a variety of votes last week revolving around amendments to the Withdrawal Agreement. One that stood out the most, apart from the Grieve amendment (which may be worth your time researching) was the Cooper amendment. The amendment’s defeat last week stood as the precise moment where I finally realised that, not only were the people living in fantasyland, our government was too. In layman’s terms, the amendment was a proposal that if passed would have allowed an extension onto Article 50 – something we have unknowingly craved since the reality of Brexit hit with Chequers in July 2018. The defeat of the amendment struck two bells in the sonus horribilis. First, we saw the complete ineptitude of leading MPs again. Not a shock, but what remains significant is their boorish stoicism so close to March 29th. Second, knowingly or unknowingly the Government has paved the way for a no-deal Brexit. While this was speculation on my part at first, business leaders and repositories throughout the UK have recently stated that such an event would lead to a “long-term decline” in the UK economy while there are plans in place, from this very minute, to lower tariffs and taxes in case of a no-deal. The eventuality is seemingly becoming reality.
What’s that? Oh dear, you say? Well, the sentiment is bang on but stronger words are needed to liven up your distaste. My opinion is thus – we need to go back. To where? No idea, but this is a dangerous game we’re playing so more time would have helped. If not, that British bulldog of ours will finally be put to rest come March 29th. Whatever rises from the ground then, we’ll have to bear the brunt.