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Some things look pretty obvious in retrospect, don’t they?
After the Conservative and Unionist Party of the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland hired a known Remainer to be Prime Minister following the June 23, 2016 EU referendum, newly-installed PM Theresa May went about the UK and the world telling all who would listen, that she, Theresa May, HAD THE RIGHT STUFF to take the UK out of the European Union — only to fail to deliver Brexit 31-days short of the finish line on March 29, 2019, the official Brexit date.
This disappointing forecast is due to news reports coming in that Theresa May might wish to delay Brexit, although as little as one day ago she said there is no benefit in delaying Brexit as the same intractable problems would remain after the delay and still require solving — and that British MP’s should ‘Hold their nerve’.
Which seems quite logical, actually. If the UK and the EU couldn’t get a decent Withdrawal Agreement done in 2.5+ years, what makes them think they could get it done in 2.8+ years, for example? The same issues will need to be resolved then, as now.
We shouldn’t have been fooled. Largely unknown in British politics, Theresa May toiled away in obscurity as the Home Secretary for 6 quiet years. Indeed, Theresa May’s time in the Home Office has come to be known as the quietest time in Home Office history. But while waiting for the PM’s chair to come up, it’s wise, I suppose, to remain uncontroversial.
Why, oh why, did we choose an arch-Remainer to steer the UK through Brexit? (Yes, I used the royal “we” because many people voted for, or approved Theresa May as PM)
It’s Our Fault, of Course. Because We Hired the Wrong Prime Minister
Someone wanted to become Prime Minister and she told us exactly what we wanted to hear:
- “Brexit Means Brexit”
- “No Deal is Better Than a Bad Deal”
- “The UK Will Regain Control of its Money”
- “The UK Will Become The Great Meritocracy”
- “The UK Will No Longer be Subject to a Foreign Court”
- “The UK Will Regain the Right to Write its Own Trade Deals”
- “The UK Will Regain Control of its Borders and Immigration”
And so much more than that.
If you don’t believe me, every significant speech given by Theresa May since July 2016 is published elsewhere at this website and most of those speeches have an accompanying YouTube video so you can see her speak the words herself and read the transcript (provided by the UK government) and decide for yourself if she actually believed what she was saying at the time, or whether she just wanted to continue as Prime Minister long after she realized that she wasn’t up to the (Brexit part of the) job.
Had she given it up earlier, Michael Gove or Jacob Rees-Mogg could’ve jumped in to the PM”s job and gotten the UK a decent Brexit deal before the official Brexit date and Theresa May could’ve gone on to the House of Lords, or wherever she had hoped to go, and no one would’ve ever known she couldn’t deliver on her Brexit promises.
So, Either Theresa May Isn’t the Prime Minister She Thought She Was, or She Isn’t the Prime Minister We Thought She Was
Or, (he wrote hopefully) maybe this is a bargaining gambit to get the EU off balance — with them suddenly realizing they must now negotiate against a strong Brexiteer like Michael Gove instead of a weak Remainer like Theresa May — therefore, they might decide to take the opportunity now to quickly sign an amended Withdrawal Agreement before Ms. May is gone from politics forever.
“Oh Luvvie, we miss you already!” lamented every EU bureaucrat.
You Were So Close, Theresa, So Close.
Why did you lose your nerve? Especially after rallying the troops last week, telling them; “MP’s should not lose their nerve.”
We thought you were the one. We thought you were the one who could deliver Brexit. We cheered your every success and fumed against your opponents. We wrote blogs. We posted Tweets and happily re-Tweeted your best Tweets. We thought you might have been an ABBA dancing queen in a previous life. (All in good fun there, we’ve all missed the beat once in our lives)
But if you can’t get it done; If you find you can’t keep your promises, it’s time to step down and let a Brexiteer take up the Brexit mantle — delivering the Brexit that you promised to more than 17.4 million Britons — and to many former Remainers who also want the misery/economic uncertainty to end and are saying things like, “Just get it done!” and “Let’s move past this divisive part of UK history!”
We know you tried your best, but you just came up short.
To Theresa May’s Credit…
She’s done a great job on the economy. All stats are charting in the right direction. People ‘in work’ are at an all-time high. Unemployment is at an all-time low.
The NHS has recently had its best showing in The Commonwealth Fund’s rigorous healthcare outcomes rankings (#1 out of the top 11 healthcare systems in the world) People seem more fulfilled and are living longer in the UK. And government departments seem more efficient and relevant to UK citizens (and to bloggers looking for information, quotes, or charts) So it wasn’t all bad.
In fact, maybe in retrospect Theresa May did a great job on the economy and in many other ways. Perhaps Brexit is her nemesis.
What to Do for the Next 31 Days?
Assuming Theresa May isn’t using some arcane negotiating trick against the EU to get a deal before the March 29, 2019 deadline (which could be a thing, I suppose) every Brexiteer in the world will be counting backwards from £100-billion — because that’s about how costly the past 2.5 years, plus the proposed negotiating extension period will harm the UK economy due to the economic uncertainty attached to the outrageously long Withdrawal Agreement negotiating period.
C’est la vie.
As per present UK law, Britain is set to leave the European Union on March 29, 2019. Which is the automatic default, by the way. Even if the government were to pack up shop and go on vacation, the UK would still cease to be a member of the EU on that date.
And, as of 26 January 2019, there’s still no signed Withdrawal Agreement for leaving the EU, nor is there consensus in the UK House of Commons on amendments to Theresa May’s draft Withdrawal Agreement. Which means that the UK and the EU are headed towards a so-called ‘Hard Brexit’ where the UK leaves the EU bloc without any agreed terms, conditions, and mutual privileges.
It’s truly a sad state of affairs that 21st-century politicians can’t even agree on the terms for the UK leaving the EU bloc. You’d think they’d employ the kind of thinking that would get the job done, instead of employing the ‘Win-Lose’ thinking of the 20th-century that brought so much heartbreak to the world.
Howbeit, whether a deal is agreed tomorrow or as late as March 28, 2019 there’s no real problem — other than the fact that the business community won’t have much time to prepare for whatever terms and conditions may apply from January 1, 2020.
Not impossible. Just cutting it a bit close is all.
As You Would Expect, Remainers are Still Trying to Cancel Brexit
Their latest proposal is to support legislation delaying Brexit by 3-months or even until January 2020… ostensibly to give UK and EU politicians ‘time to think their way through’ to a solution (a Brexit agreement) that’ll work for both sides and therefore garner enough votes to pass in the House of Commons and the EU27 countries.
Of course, what it’s about is delay, delay, delay — until everyone dies of old age — or something else replaces Brexit in the European consciousness. You’ve got to know that they’re praying for a major terrorist attack (anywhere!) or another war (anywhere!) to make that bad ol’ Brexit man go away. Just make it go away, Mommy!
Yes… We know… It’s scary becoming a real country again, isn’t it? But that’s what voters want sweety and that’s what they’re going to get. So just buckle in. The adults in the room will get the job done and the sky won’t fall. You’ll be alright kitten.
Another Remainer ploy at this late stage is a proposal to have the UK government hold another EU referendum to ensure ‘The People’ voted the right way, and if not, to give them another chance. Kindness and redemption available from Remainers. So nice!
Not only that, you’ll probably get a participation badge for voting ‘the right way’ this time and the respect of un-democrats everywhere.
After Failing to Agree a Withdrawal Agreement for 2 1/2 Years and Counting; Why Do Remainers Think More Time Will Do the Trick?
As the same problems will remain — no matter how much time is added to the Brexit schedule — so how is the element of ‘more time’ expected to solve anything?
More time… won’t solve anything. In fact, it may prove harmful to the UK side on account of the upcoming EU presidential elections.
Both Jean-Claude Juncker and Donald Tusk may seem soft and fuzzy in retrospect once we compare them to the next holders of the EU and EC presidencies, and if the UK can’t get an agreement now with grandpa Juncker and uncle Tusk in office, how do we expect to get a deal with the next crew?
Especially when the fundamental issues preventing a deal won’t have changed one iota in the meantime.
The construct we call ‘time’ isn’t the problem here; It’s the issues. Get it? And either a smooth working relationship is worth preserving or it isn’t.
But if sufficient goodwill exists and if a spirit of compromise is in the air, there will be a deal, and the delays we’re experiencing are merely serving to pressure leaders into accepting a certain set of terms. If that is the case, such delays are being used as a tactic by one side to obtain the deal they want from the other side. Fair enough.
All tactics can be considered ‘fair’ as long as by the end of the process on March 29, 2019 it results in a deal that both sides can live with.
Defining the Future Relationship
More than anything else — because actions speak so much louder than words — if the UK and the EU sign a decent Withdrawal Agreement by March 29, 2019 it will guarantee world-class future relations between the two countries.
And the reward for that is quite obvious; Peace and prosperity for the people of the UK and the EU for the rest of the 21st-century.
When it comes right down to it; Is there anything more valuable in the geopolitical world?
If you think there is, then you haven’t been on the planet long enough. Therefore, stick around young sprite. You’ve plenty to learn.