My first child was born two weeks before the In/Out referendum. He will be at school bringing home maths homework I probably don’t understand by the time the UK is an independent sovereign country.
About five years is the headline from the speech unnecessarily delivered in Florence by Mrs. May. It will take five years from the date of the vote to leave the European Union to actually ‘leaving.’
The PM wants a transitional ‘implementation’ period of two years (still to be agreed) to help individuals and businesses through the change.
During this time, even after we have left in 2019 (are you still keeping up?) we will continue to pay into the EU, around 20 billion euros (still to be agreed) allow freedom of movement, EU courts to influence our own and expect full access to the single market (still to be agreed).
This means the UK would be subjected to EU directives and regulations and cannot enter into new trade arrangements leaving Dr. Fox and his International Trade Department hypothesizing for years.
It will basically be the status quo except the UK will not be represented politically at any level.
Some are calling this sensible but the implementation period is really about masking the unimaginable slowness of the wheels of government. Trust me, as you read this hundreds of consultants and civil servants will be hovering around flip-charts with bright post-its strategising about the impact on their piece of the Brexit jigsaw. This slowness jars with people's frustrations and anger for change which led many to vote leave in the first place.
It may make sense to take time building up a beautiful creative solution on this project and that but people voted leave because they were fed up and wanted things to be different. Indeed many think keeping us in the UK for a further two years is a betrayal of the referendum. Also, propping up the EU with billions to show our 'trust' and 'partnership' when public services are struggling is just a slap in the face.
Either way, Mrs. May is in for a rocky party conference. The now branded ‘weak and wobbly’ Theresa is on borrowed time. If the General Election campaign is anything to go by she will never withstand the constant scrutiny of yesterday’s speech, a few mantra lines are not going to placate people.
Is Boris waiting in the wings? Well he certainly followed the script yesterday and I have to hand it to the PM she has all the major Brexiteers; Johnson, Davis, Gove, Patel and Leadsom tied up like kippers under Cabinet Collective Responsibility. Unless I missed their mass resignations I’m assuming they all thought the speech was great.
The Brexit Blues…
Now, I have two confessions. Firstly, in complete transparency I voted to leave the EU. Secondly, as you may be detecting, I have major UK politics fatigue and I mean major. I’ve had these before, they come and go, but that dire snap-general election pushed me over the edge.
I’ve found myself battered by over-scrutinizing media delving into every utterance desperate to find division or just anything that resembles their hope Brexit will fail and the government implodes. News now is apparently analysis of what might happen not what is actually you know, news.
I’m also left exasperated by weak and ‘media trained’ politicians parroting out what they’ve been told to say that day (they actually do get their lines every morning). After years in this game, it gets tiresome. I was hoping this speech would lift me out of my ‘Brexicoma’ – so far it has just propelled me to write this so we shall have to wait and see on that one.
Let me know your thoughts on the speech and if you share the Brexit blues....