Op-Ed: Why B Stands For Boring Not Brexit
I have a confession to make, as a foreign EU citizen living in London, I haven’t once had a sleepless night over Brexit. Not one anxious moment. Did I ever feel like my status as a citizen was in jeopardy? No. Did I ever feel as though Britain was driving itself off a cliff? Certainly not. Do I think this whole political Greek tragedy reeks of childish petulance? Oh my, Yes.
I’m of the belief that Brexit as chaotic as it may seem right now will be worked out for the most part. It’s a bit like having a spontaneous food fight, then looking around awkwardly at your neighbours packing up and heading home. Politics for me has always simply been about lubricating the wheels of functionality. Bridges, roads, taxes, healthcare, anything to make sure the system is running smoothly, even if it does get bumpy at times. It’s a bit like Tarzan economics, one party swings from branch to branch changing direction slightly but ultimately keeping the momentum running.
Having said that witnessing the debacle that is Brexit unfold over the last two years, there are a few bits of feedback I would love to pop on the doorstep at No.10 Downing Street.
A) It might have been an idea had the Leave party known they would succeed, to have had all their ducks in a row. Meaning all possible scenarios for an exit had been hashed out for Brussels well before they decided to throw the country under a bus. They are it seems writing the rulebook as they move forward, but in hindsight, it’s a little bit like not packing your umbrella for that picnic when you know it’s going to rain.
B) What about an open digital platform that can be accessed by the majority of the British population to supply simple localised feedback on a handful of issues being thrown about in parliament. Not only, helping Brits understand the majority of the Brexit issues in plain language but also make them feel involved. This is, after all, a collaborative process, not a hit and run, or do I have it back to front? Something tells me the interweb sounds like an overly logical solution to a very analogue problem.
Why Brexit and the reality?
The Leavers meaning Boris Johnson and crony co. LTD want to make a clean break from the single EU market and customs union. They are fed up of being the pig that the lesser fortunate states suck off. Fair point. a) They want to roll back the years to a time where they could control their borders from the hands of unwanted migrants b) negotiate independent trade deal to their liking.
But at what point did they really think they were going to Leave without comprising, even though the UK is paying in excess of £60 billion as an exit fee, they are negotiating with the largest financial trade body in the world, there is no way they were going to get out of there without losing an arm or leg.
Should we hold another referendum?
We probably should, but in all honesty, if the British public decided to stay the second time around, we would officially be the laughing stock of the world, it’s unofficial right now I checked. PS – By the way, has anyone heard from the Queen on all of this? PPS. – If I hear one more journalist ask a politician do you think Brexit will lead to a Grexit, Nexit, Frexit, Pexit – I’ll break something.
Why is the conservative party revolting?
They are unhappy with the current proposal that Therese May has put forward; they feel the deal is worse than actually staying in the EU. Right now as it stands this proposed deal doesn’t allow the Leave faction any say over EU rules and offers even worse access to the EU market than beforehand. Philipp LeGrain, the former EU economist, sums it up perfectly, the deal amounts to a “betrayal” of their idea of Brexit, with Britain set to become a “colony” or even a “slave state” of the EU.” Oh, the irony of it all.
The looming date of 29th of March, 2019 is upon us. If Britain doesn’t manage to wind up a deal by that point, the press has described the consequences as being apocalyptic, that we will fall off a cliff. This will not happen, most likely just like the British weather; negotiations will peter out with a hint of overcast, drizzling just enough to make you stay inside. It’s not in anyone’s interest to send a country into the dark ages. We all know an extension will be granted.
Why details matters and don’t?
Most importantly people never read the details, look at the subprime mortgage crisis. When it becomes too intellectually challenging for people to understand the more delicate aspects of the deal they pass out, they sign off, essentially leaving it up to the politicians. But this is where the politicians do their best work, as the saying goes, ‘where there is mystery there is margin’. While you have pundits, TV anchors and broadsheets shouting at you. They don’t realise that most of Britain have switched off the TV. Brexit out, Brexit in, teabag out teabag in.
Things just plod along
By all accounts most people expected doom and gloom to follow the two years after the decision to leave the EU. An all-out recession was on the cards, on the contrary, all predictions were wrong, the UK economy grew 1.8% in 2016, second only to Germany’s 1.9% among the world’s G7 leading industrialised nations. Unemployment continues to fall, to stand at a 43-year year low of 4%. Come March 2019, or for that matter March 2020 we will in all reality probably plop past the finishing line. Thinking to ourselves what was all that fuss about? Because that’s what Brits do best, plop. More details, more events and the same old tyranny of fatigue.
Written by the founding editor Ari Stein