Well as we expected Theresa May has implemented Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, giving notice the United Kingdom wishes to withdraw from the European Union. I will be honest, not one of the great weeks of my life. I was four years old when we joined the then Common Market, we worked hard to get in, much to French protestations and with the flick of her pen Mrs May dismantled out membership.
As I am sure you can imagine with my centre-left political stance I was 100% a remainer, I thought it was the best for the future of our country. I am not impressed with the bolshi right-wing bravado that we are taking our country back. No, we are hamstringing it as I believe there is zero chance of getting anything near the deal we had in the single market and that sends us sliding dangerously towards WTO trade rules. I am sure our farmers will be delighted to have a 40% tariff slapped on their exports.
So, what happens now? Well from what I can see depending which side of the fence you are on. Of course, the UK government wants to get going with trade talks straight away, however, it looks like the big players on the EU side are having none of that until we have paid what we owe into the EU coffers. You see this is the problem when you are having to forge a deal with 27 other countries. This surely is going to be one of the biggest nightmares of modern times.
Moreover, we now have Spain threatening to veto any deals unless we come to some arrangement about Gibraltar, we have Scotland wanting a new independence referendum due to the fact 62% of Scots voted to stay in the EU. Although not related to the EU issues we also have the power brokers of the Northern Ireland assembly not wanting to play nice.
If this fun and games for the week were not enough we have the Great Repeal Bill which will transpose EU law into UK law, now we know those 1000 or so laws are going to be easy to sort out, right? So, a Conservative government would be not sticking true to form if they did not try and cut a few workers’ rights out during the transfer of the laws. Be interesting to see which ones they try to guillotine.
So, after the first week of post Article 50 fun, I can say that I am not taking Theresa May’s advice and getting behind Brexit. I will always stay true to myself, I thought it was a bad idea at the time and I still do. There is no way anybody should get behind something they don’t believe in, I am not doing it and would not expect anybody else to do either. When you have no confidence in something, it does neither side any good.
I just hope that the team Theresa has put together for the trade talks are more capable than I think they are, however, I doubt it based on some of the “don’t know” responses we are already getting from David Davies. This is going to be a very long two years or more.