This is the priest all shaven and shorn,
That married the man all tattered and torn,
That kissed the maiden all forlorn,
That milked the cow with the crumpled horn,
That tossed the dog that worried the cat,
That chased the rat that ate the malt,
That lay in the house that Jack built.
’This is The House That Jack Built’ – https://youtu.be/hGP8wqE0Kkg
Who is the UK to become? A mere quirk of geography and history? It is certainly not united. Brexit makes our collective identity increasingly pertinent. What a tragedy that we are making such a veritable constitutional, economic and civil mess out of reactionary misdirection and misinformed, short-sighted, ideological expedience.
When Brexits inevitably don’t get all the goodies that Brexiteers gave them to expect, it is said that they will blame Remain, along with the rest of the EU. Well, they’re already blaming everyone but themselves – and getting away with it. It is currently the turn of the Republic of Ireland and those in Northern Ireland who did not vote Leave in the EU referendum (55.8%) and did not vote or for the DUP in the last General Election (64%).
They will blame the EU for being bigger and better at negotiations. They’ll blame the Remainers for softening Brexit. They’ll blame the EU for looking after its own interests and people. They’ll blame the Remainers for trying to prevent rather than help the UK to hobble itself.
Of course, it’s a dreadful prospect that the inevitable regret and anger might direct its recriminations at either but it’s a bigger disaster that the time it might take to reach critical mass in Bregret may well come too late. Too late to stop it happening, at all. Too late for most leavers to say sorry on account that they will likely be retired, dead or old enough to genuinely have a bad memory. Too late to do much but muddle through the disintegration or, cap in hand, apply to rejoin, oh, dear gods…
It will be left to historians and news archives to explain why and how a once great nation became a global pipsqueak.
Anand Menon explains ‘Why the Republic and Northern Ireland need shared regulatory frameworks’
Chris Grey’s essential explainer on ‘Why Brexiters are flummoxed by the Irish border’ and why their solutions are so badly flawed.
For excellent context and perspective, Naomi O’Leary: ‘Britain’s ignorance of Ireland is leading it blindly into crisis’
RTÉ reports ‘UK to make Brexit concessions over NI’ – The DUP and Brexiteers will certainly have something to say about that. As will Scotland, Wales, Cornwall, Gibraltar, London, Grimsby…
And Phase One is supposed to be the easiest bit!
I repeat: ‘hard Brexit’ is shitty death and ‘soft Brexit’ takes the piss out of both Leavers and Remainers. There simply is no Brexit available that is better for Britain than no Brexit at all. Brexit was supposed to provide a superior state of being, remember. It, self-evidently, can not; will not. It is still not worth the costs, the time or the risks.