“Any government has as much of a duty to avoid war as a ship’s captain has to avoid a shipwreck.”
Guy de Maupassant
So what about Brexit? … Let me think… Hmmmn …. Nada. I owe you an explanation. I have made a few attempts for the last few months to continue the blog but every time I have tried to sit down in front of the screen something a lot more exciting than Brexit, such as ironing, changing nappies or baking a cake, came up and I rushed to fulfil my household emergencies leaving the page empty and my heart relieved. I will do it mañana I repeated to myself, but mañana never came. Until today. This blog is meant to be my voice throughout the whole Brexit process and by not pulling my finger out that voice is fading. So I will not be sinking amongst all those Brexit casualties. Let’s start all over again!
A new onset is quite convenient really. The White Paper is out and I just finished reading it with some help from an extra strong coffee and some adventurous page skipping. I can see why this document made David Davis and Boris Johnson jump off the ship. The whole paper is ludicrous. I am gobsmacked at how this Government has managed to publish something that it is going to please absolutely no one. Brexiteers will plea about the unforgivable betrayal to the Brexit Holy Grail: sovereignty. Remainers will argue if there is any point in leaving. The EU will scratch their heads wondering if anyone in Westminster have been listening to their two well-known terms: no cherry picking of the single market and the freedom of movement as one of its fundamental pillars. I just do not see this document getting any further as it reads now. If I dare to be optimistic I would say yes, it is a plan at least, something to work with for the next few months and I said work because a hell of a lot of graft is needed to achieve results in what is now a quite short period of time before the exit. Mrs May and her team did get the name of the paper right though. White. It might as well be an empty sheet of paper. Yes, the pessimism is back.
In a future post- Brexit, according to Theresa May, the UK will enjoy an associate arrangement with the EU. The plan to see this country in the customs union and single market for goods only. Not for services. Skilful EU migrants would be allowed to work or study here without visa on a temporary basis (the time limit still needs to be decided). This idea of what kind of free movement will suit you in the future crashes straight away with the rule of the free movement which works for every single citizen of the EU, not a few chosen ones. Another point that seems quite ambiguous to me is the constant mention to a ‘common rulebook’ in matters as such food and agriculture. Surely Mrs May is not expecting the EU to create another set of rules. They already have rules, rules for everything, including the size of bananas…. So to avoid the hard border the country will have to bring your regulations in line with the already in existence rulebook but with no power whatsoever to change or dictate within the EU anymore…. Sovereignty anyone?
We have to wait and see what the EU makes of the White Paper. Next week there will be another round of negotiations with the clock ticking fast and steady. It doesn’t matter much what they think really. The UK’s worst enemy at the moment is its own politicians engulfed in a selfish self-destruct mode. All the Hard Brexiteers have deserted the ship to escape the flames. Out of principles or simply out of ideas of how to carry out their Brexit dream without damaging the country immensely. Their Hard Brexit or dare I say the only Brexit possible is the out, complete out and I guess many lack the conviction or the guts to see it through. The turmoil of recent weeks doesn’t end with the White Paper… I fear another General Election is on the cards. Mrs May is on her last life and if this is her final proposal I am sure it is easy to see why I’d rather stay IN. As George Bernard Shaw said “Those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.” The beginning of the end of Brexit has just begun. Hasta la próxima amigos.