At the time of writing this there are about 10 weeks until the date set for the U.K. exiting the EU and the single plan to do that has been rejected by Parliament in the biggest defeat for a government in the history of the U.K.
The government has taken more than two years to negotiate the failed agreement they put to MPs. They now have until Monday (5 days) bring forward a deal they think will get Parliamentary approval. The likelihood of that happening seems infinitesimally small. That means on 29 March 2019, if there has been no agreement to change or put on hold the date for Brexit, the U.K. will exit the EU with no deal in place.
Those opposed to Brexit and a substantial number of those in favour do not want a no deal Brexit.
The EU do not want the U.K. to leave. Quite apart from the massive blow to trade with EU member states, there is a genuine feeling that a U.K. exit will cause a domino effect in some other EU member states who may move towards leaving. It is not, therefore, in the interests of the EU for the U.K. to leave and they will have no motivation in negotiating a deal that will enable leaving.
So what happens next?
Got to admit I am furious about this. We elect politicians to make difficult decisions. I would like to think I am of reasonable intelligence but I simply do not have the level of understanding to have made an informed decision during the referendum- I certainly did not have full information, nay, I was lied to! We don't ask the electorate if they want the death penalty because they would likely vote for it!
That said our European 'friends' are not clear of blame. why they have not understood that the UK wants something other than political integration and have not found a way of catering for it I do not know. This is as much a failing on their part as on the UK's.
It is embarrassing to watch our elected officials argue with each other, it's like watching a box of frogs crawling all over each other.
I think we should take our motley crew of MPs and lock them in the chamber, sending in water and porridge, taking out slop buckets occasionally, and tell them to get an agreement between them before we let them out again. They can signal this agreement by sending up white smoke, like when a new Pope is elected...
I think there have certainly been some enormous and catastrophic failures of judgement at the leadership level, most particularly by David Cameron (but many of his contemporaries would most likely have made the same choice).
As to the general picture of goings-on at Westminster, it can't be denied that it's messy and we fear that it's not a good look for the neighbours. BUT, I can't help thinking that democracy is messy. The country right now is messy; we're divided. So, you could take another view of the goings-on and conclude that amidst the mess, Westminster is providing a very representative struggle to find a solution to our national disagreements. On some levels this might be taken as a model of how a democratic society comes to terms with a difficult situation. (If you can set aside for the time being the damage being done to our economy in the process).
With better leadership, this whole process could have been avoided at best. And, at the worst, it could have been far more elegantly managed. Having said that, there seems to be something very British about how we're handling it all, replete with the classic British muddle.
Of course, I should also decry what is probably the most pernicious effect of Brexit which is way it has emboldened the far right and made some visitors to our county feel less welcome, less safe and less like they want to be here.
What damage to the economy ?
Unemployment down, exports up, inflation pretty static, minimum wage increased.
Sounds pretty good to me.
"That said our European 'friends' are not clear of blame. why they have not understood that the UK wants something other than political integration and have not found a way of catering for it I do not know. This is as much a failing on their part as on the UK's."
The Uk is PART of the EU anad has veto power and can opt out of ever closer union when it wants. Of course you need to weigh up the advantages and disdavantages of being in or out.But EXACTLY WHAT DOES THE UK WANT? Therein lies the problem!
Go on to Youtube an look at the The Convention posts which, admittedly, is pro peoples' vote. To hear the ratioinal arguments.
I have some Italian friends and I was having a cheap laugh at their expense over Bunga Bunga! They said 'this is why we look to the EU- to give us strong institutions because we don't have them in Italy, they are weak'. It made me think. The EU has been phenomenally successful in keeping peace in Europe since 1945 among its members. Look at who makes the EU up, countries either trampled on by Germans or Russians and war ravaged, coming out of communist or fascist dictatorship often with weak or fragile political institutions. The only countries this does not apply to are the UK, Ireland and possibly Sweden (at a push).
The UK entered an economic arrangement in 1971. This has evolved and morphed, towards one of 'ever closer political union'. The UK has had strong political institutions for decades, arguably centuries. While I am no Tory, I see a strong sovereignty argument here. One the EU and some of its members who have been able to drive the agenda have managed to ride roughshod over.
I have been part of political processes up to EU level, and have seen first hand how the UK's voice is almost always dissenting, trying to draw back the Commission to a more center ground on many issues. Ground the likes of Ireland, the Netherlands, Denmark and Sweden are supportive of but have limited power to influence.
I don't see what is not 'rational' about this JJ B. I also think that it is a lack of empathy by a great number of people that means people that hold these views more keenly than I voted to leave.
I am a Remainer BTW!
An interesting piece about referenda in the Economist this week includes:
The 2016 vote fulfilled many of these fears. It reduced a question of mind-bending complexity to an abstract proposition, onto which voters could project incompatible versions of Brexit. It placed extraordinary power in the hands of two campaign vehicles that were under no responsibility to deliver on their promises; indeed, within days of the vote, the winning side had erased most of its website, like a drugs cartel torching the evidence before the police arrived.