Brexit hasn’t exactly been keeping me awake at night, but it has been keeping me entertained during the day. I find it hard to understand why people are so exercised (is that the right phrase?) about this issue – until the referendum, it wasn’t a thing.
Now, there are threats of rioting in the streets if Parliament doesn’t carry out the will of the people. And up until last Thursday, Parliament wasn’t even going to get a say on things. But then some expert judges decided that if the invoking of Article 50 was to have any authority, it needed to be voted on by Parliament in its totality and not just Government.
Lots of people are hoping now that MPs will vote against Brexit, and certainly the members of the House of Lords may vote in majority against it, but actually my suspicion is that the vote for Brexit will pass with little (if any) controversy. The MPs in the Commons will state that they are carrying out “the will of the people”, and if the Lords rebel, they will ping-pong until the Government invoke the supremacy of the Commons and the vote will pass.
I didn’t comprehend that for a while, but I guess that the MPs are taking a macro view and they have seen that 52% of the nation who voted, voted for Brexit. So that is the decision that they must implement. However, if I were an individual MP, I would look at the breakdown of the voting in my constituency, and I would weigh up whether I should vote for or against Brexit. After all, come 2020 (if there is no General Election before then), other local factors may be more “top-of-mind” than Brexit. And that is why I have to poo-poo the idea that there will be rioting in the streets.
In my mind, I think (and I may have said this before, so excuse me if I have) that Andrew Marr had it right when he said that it won’t be as bad as people fear, and it won’t be as great as people hope. If anything does lead to rioting in the streets, I think that the cause of that can be squarely laid at the feet of David Cameron. Before he offered the referendum on membership of the EU, it was seen as a niche issue, debated by hardcore politicos – at least, that is my take on it. Now it’s led to family splits and fallings-out between friends. And all because Cameron was trying to outflank UKIP and keep his own backbench MPs happy.
I quite enjoy listening to Redwood and Rees-Mogg, probably more than the next man, but after the interview ends and I have analysed what they said, it is at that point that I dismiss their ideas as “barking”. I’m a bit slow on the uptake, still even after all this time, but at least I still maintain an open mind, and I would like that marked in my favour.
I still sincerely believe that we will get to the end of this process of Brexit and look back on it, and look at each other with puzzled expressions on our faces and we will say to each other, “was that it? Is that we’ve worried and sweated and argued about for the last two years? For this?” There is a reason it has been a niche discussion, and that is because, on the whole, we can get through our days without having to resort to the ECHR or European directives. On the whole the directives issued by the EU are common sense and practical, and it is the interpretation of those directives (“better safe than sorry”) which cause the issue (e.g., recycling teabags). I do not believe that there will be an immediate and apparent change to daily life in the UK; after all, we have spent the last 40 years aligning with the EU over laws and regulations. Any divergence will be gradual and unnoticeable, until all of a sudden, certain things become incompatible. But if we made a point of shadowing the EU parliament, and implementing the changes they made which we agreed with, we would still be more closely aligned with their view on things than differing.

But as I have opined, I think, at the end of it, it won’t amount to a hill of beans. The ride to get there might be exciting though.


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