I study History and Journalism at University.
Apparently Brexit is extremely relevant to both.
I do not know much about Brexit.
I smile and nod. I use buzz words like ‘referendum’ and ‘nightmare.’
I assume that nobody actually knows what’s going on. They think they do, they know the bones of it, but they don’t actually know, none of us do, do we? If parliament don’t know and they’re adopting the phrase ‘fake it till you make it’ then we must do the same.
If you too know fuck all about Brexit and are struggling to understand what all the fuss is about, let’s learn together. If you do, feel free to correct me on all of the mistakes that I am about to make.
We had a referendum on the 23rd of June 2016. Christ. 2016?! That’s over three years ago, is that right? Wow. I remember I was in Vienna and I voted by proxy. I had just been dumped and I didn’t fancy the idea of another break-up, so I chose to remain. (I’m half joking, I did read around the subject, ish.)
Leave won by 52%, so another break up it was. At least Ben & Jerry’s sales would rise by 48%, that’s a lot of heart broken people.
As far as I can tell, it all went tits up from there. Cameron jumped ship straight away. He’s like the friend that believes the only way to get over someone is to get under someone else. He didn’t stick around and try to make it work, or focus his energy on self improvement. He fucked off and found something else to love, perhaps holidaying in the South of France. Not sure if I blame him.
Theresa May then stepped up to the plate, At this point I felt pretty hopeful, not because I was over the moon about the situation as it was, but because women are normally pretty good at cleaning up after men. It’s patriarchal, it’s stereo typical but it’s so true. Men (#notallmen) tend to leave a trail of bredcrumbs as if theyre on the way to the Witches cottage.
Perhaps Theresa was too busy running through fields of barley to let a man leave a trail of destruction in her life. Although, this was a pretty big clean up job. No wonder she was so ill equipped.
Yet she persisted, triggered Article 50 and kicked off negotiations. Just like a divorce, or a break-up where you left a considerable amount of things at their house or bought things that you now would like back.
This was a two year long process, due to conclude in March this year. Yo and behold, it did not. It was rejected three times. Not good enough of a settlement for parliament with the general consensus appearing to be that ‘no deal was better than a bad deal.’ We head into Noel Edmonds territory now, perhaps this all would have been easier with a few red boxes and a phone to the EU who give their offers as Mrs May frantically decides whether to say ‘deal’ or ‘no deal.’
I should probably mention backstop; the main reason why the Brexit-deal was rejected by parliament. It all comes down to the Irish border, the only land border between the UK and the European Union. Bringing back checks to this border would be reminiscent to a time of conflict in Northern Ireland. The back stop is intended to prevent a hard border ( hate the constant use of the word hard and soft, sounds phallic) but this only comes in to play if we can’t agree a future trade deal with the EU after Brexit.
No backstop, no Brexit. But then there’s the critics (Our acting Prime Minister) who think that the backstop could become permanent and restrict the UK’s ability to trade with the wider world and even threaten the existence of the United Kingdom. Which seems plausible as united is not a word one would use to describe our current political situation.
So after the three failed Brexit agreements Theresa took her leave, she waved goodbye to an attempt at salvaging the relationship and headed back to the corn fields.
Cue Boris Johnson. Determined to make this break-up as swift and painless as possible. Good luck hun. The Eu is refusing his dismissal of the back stop and will not agree to his ‘alternative arrangements.’ Unwilling for compromise, Johnson acts like the scorned partner who has nothing to give but a joyful two fingers, he has decided that he will leave on the 31st (Halloween?!) with or without a deal. Take it or leave it, it’s your loss any way.
This made MP’s panic. Johnson’s false sense of security worried them and they became determined to reel him in. Even his own sister called him tasteless and reprehensible. MP’s voted in favour of extending the Brexit deadline, to which Johnson retaliated with the demand for an early election. This fell like a ton of bricks.
No stopping cunning Mr. Johnson.
He asked himself: ‘If I had a super power, what would it be…?’
‘Ah, I know, I’d stop time and fast forward to a day in which it was too late to negotiate any other deal, thus allowing us to leave the EU NO DEAL. Very good Johnson, very good.’
(I imagine him in the mirror flicking his floppy hair about the place.)
So this is what he did, he summoned his super powers and on the 28th of August suspended Parliament for five weeks.
As you can imagine this did not go down well and Johnson’s argument that this was of normal procedure for a new PM did not stand in a time of abnormality.
His demand for a Queen’s speech and a new parliament session was opposed by the Supreme Court.
In sweeps Lady Hale declaring that “the prime minister’s advice to Her Majesty was unlawful, void and of no effect.”
Parliament is set to continue, although it seems we are at a bit of a stand still. Government is to be held accountable for the attempt to halt Brexit negotiations. Johnson is being told to resign by opposition MP’s. The majority of Parliament seems reluctant to leave at all. Johnson on the other had is determined that the 31st will be the leaving date and no one can really predict what will follow.
Supposedly the pound will fall, a no-deal Brexit may even cause a recession. There is hope however that any financial affect will be short term. Settled Status will be offered to EU Citizens. Your passport must be valid for at least up to six months before the Brexit date. EU Health cards will no longer be valid and I’m sure that the queues at passport control will be a fucking nightmare.
So that’s where we are. In the midst of shit storm all because the leave campaign put bullshit signs on the sides of buses.
In order to help you through this difficult time, here’s a list of sturdy phrases to throw into conversation when anybody starts to talk about Brexit….
‘Well, of course Lady Hale is an absolute legend, as her silver broach suggests.’
‘Boris Johnson may be an unlawful twat, but I sure as hell would not want to do his job.’
‘It’s all a bit of a mess isn’t it?’
‘Is no one else concerned that they’ve picked Halloween, feels a bit like an April Fools situation to me. Will they all be dressed as ghosts in parliament, or perhaps wearing Boris Johnson masks? Creepy.’