As we celebrate the arrival of spring, the British seem to have no respite from the long Brexit winter that their leaders past and present have subjected them to.
What started out as a risky bet, with then Prime Minister David Cameron calling the peoples’ bluff with the firm but erroneous belief that notwithstanding the general antipathy and apathy towards Europe, the British would ultimately never opt out of the European Union has now turned into a sad story, a comedy cum tragedy that has left the British with few or no options.
Cameron’s bet was miscalculated and untimely. He gave the Exit campaigners the opportunity they had been waiting for. For the likes of Farage to pounce on the general non chalance of the average British voter, to play with the sentiments of the war veterans, the disillusioned and the far right Nationalist, who still had the vision of Britannia ruling the waves. The Exit campaigners were prepared whilst their opposition was not motivated enough, or maybe too confident – all this resulted in a 52/48 victory for those who wanted to leave and in the subsequent chaos that came with it.
Since that eventful day in 2016, much has been said about BREXIT. It is safe to assess that the British never really warmed up to the idea of the then European Economic Community, which has since become the European Union. Whilst considering everything, the UK always kept excellent relations with its counterparts on the continent, Brits always considered themselves a breed apart even in the most basic of things, change is not a friend of the UK and its citizens, where we use the metric system the British still persist in using the Imperial measures just to give one tiny example.
Enter Theresa May – I must admit that when she became Prime Minister I thought that she would be another Thatcher. I was wrong and with me all those who put her on the throne. Let’s face it, she faced a huge task. She had to tread unchartered waters, no one had been through this before. No country had asked to opt out of the European Union so no one expected miracles. Her mistake was trying to make it sound easy and that she was on top of the situation. Three failed votes in Parliament and constant rejections have shown us that she really has no idea what is really going on and what the way forward is.
To add to all this, the European leaders do not have a clear way forward either. As good as Juncker’s intentions may be, he is in no position to impose and any step he takes or attempts to take is closely scrutinized by the super governments of Germany and France. Notwithstanding the sticky situation that BREXIT has got the European Union into, I think that both the Germans and the French are secretly amusing themselves watching Britain fail in one attempt after the other to close the deal. Whilst May keeps presenting the same dead mouse to Brussels only to have it thrown out again and again, the European Union does not look like it is ready to lift a finger or move an inch (sorry 2.3cms) from its position.
We are at a standstill and I think that at this point the only plausible solution for the UK is to hold another referendum knowing that since the 2016 result the general feeling regarding BREXIT has shifted. Many of those who are less than 50 years old and did not bother to vote will definitely do so this time and their vote will certainly be one to opt to say in and remain part of the EU.
We also have to consider Scotland. Should the Scots hold another referendum for independence themselves if the UK eventually exits and the political scenario would now be completely different? An Independent Scotland would be one of the wealthiest countries in the EU and this scenario will have to be seriously considered.
At this point with the European Union agreeing to yet another Brexit delay we just to wait and see what unfolds, hoping on a stroke of genius from Theresa May – something unlikely to materialize. What is for sure is that the British want to know where they stand, they are tired of being given false hopes. They need direction, whatever the direction may be they will adapt mainly because there are no other options – either in or out.