Brexit and the ties that bind
Sir, – Boris Johnson has no intention of signing up to a deal with the EU in Brussels prior to a general election in the UK.
He knows that any exit deal that he brings back will be slated by Nigel Farage, the DUP and the Tory ultras on the right, and by Labour, the Liberal Democrats and the SNP on the left. In such an event, his position as Tory leader and the popular champion of “taking back control” would be fatally undermined. Mr Johnson will continue to use all his political actions, be it in Westminster or in meetings with EU leaders, including the Taoiseach, to address and rouse his own constituency, the the Leave faction, which consists of over 17.5 million voters and who happen mainly to be ordinary English people who are not members of the elite. His game-plan involves a crash-out after October 31st, for which he will blame EU intransigence.
The “Benn Act”, however, is designed to overrule a no-deal Brexit in parliament. In this event, expect Mr Johnson, fully confident of the support of the Leave majority and mindful of the standing of the Labour leadership, to further push for a general election, one he can be sure of winning. Expect, therefore, a further ramping of tensions with the continued use of such words as “surrender”, “traitor”, “sell-out”, “betrayal” and “undemocratic”. – Yours, etc,
Sir, – The sight of British politicians bellowing across the floors of Westminster was a sorry and distressing sight. Passion and sincere beliefs in any arena are to be admired and applauded but the hollow self-serving uproar that flashed across the world reflected badly on those who profess to seek and promote democracy. The currency of British politics has been seriously and fatally devalued by these recent spectacles, with the cynical use of the name of murdered MP Jo Cox being a new and unfortunate low in the proceedings. What example do they think they are setting to the many young people who wish to make a positive contribution? The words “Downing Street said” used to generate respect and invoke a listening ear. Now one wonders what nonsensical diatribe will emanate from that morally crumbling edifice. – Yours, etc,
Sir, – The recent unruly scenes in Westminster attest to the damage already done to politics over there, and Brexit has not even happened yet. Most Irish and European observers can see the economic and social harm that an increasingly inevitable no-deal Brexit will bring. There are many who voted Leave, and although they are beginning to waken up to the reality that they have been hoodwinked, they are now in a state of cognitive dissonance. They still stubbornly complain bitterly about not getting their democratic rights to have Brexit delivered after three years, even if it means they and their families will be much worse off financially as a result of their vote.
Perhaps, if we take the long view, Brexit might not be all that bad. After a few years of hardship and social upheaval in the UK, there will most probably be another vote to return to the EU fold. When this comes to pass, the UK will be obliged to seek the approval of all existing members for readmission to the EU. It would be obliged to adopt the euro and be subject to all EU laws, without exception. It might even result in an attitude of chastened humility among the population, whose gung-ho leaders, with their blinkered, insular, outdated and ultimately divisive Dunkirk rhetoric, have brought the UK to its present sorry state. – Yours, etc,