You can run but it seems you can't hide from Brexit
A friend has decided to leave the country.
OK, he and his wife have jetted off to Lanzarote to get a break from work, the weather and, of course, the furore over Brexit.
He wouldn’t normally decide to take a break at this time of year. But, as a Brexiteer, he says he has had his fill of politicians, politics and the false promises over Brexit. He says he will be back, but threatens to emigrate if the country falls apart.
He got a lot of sympathy from Himself who also has flown off this week to the British mainland leaving me with just the dog, which I’m pretty sure is happy to get a bit of peace and quiet from the pair of us who really haven’t been able to argue in any logical fashion about the political crisis surrounding us. Dogs are wonderful at pretending they understand everything you say especially if you are saying it near the cupboard where the treats reside.
The whole sorry saga of Brexit is impossible to escape.
I was about to roll up a page of newspaper to light the fire only to be drawn to the headline at the top: ‘The EU will turn us into captives if we sign up to this appalling sell-out.’ It was the latest rant in the Daily Telegraph from Boris Johnson, who wants the Northern Ireland backstop scrapped with both sides (I presume he means those of us north and south) to simply ‘commit to avoiding a hard border in Northern Ireland by the use of new unobtrusive checks and discussions of the future economic partnership’ where, he says ‘the Irish discussion rightly belongs’.
That was the day before Sinn Fein’s president Mary Lou McDonald was shouting at the top of her voice about the DUP being out of step on Brexit and ‘must face reality’. Now, I wonder what that reality might be? Seconds later she was urging Arlene Foster to “wake up and smell the coffee”. This is the very same Mary Lou who claims to have “no regrets” over her handling of the Mairia Cahill case. Mary Lou can shout all she wants. Only her own side will be listening.
The Northern Ireland born Labour MP for Vauxhall Kate Hoey had a lot to say this week too. Ms Hoey informs us she has “ploughed through” the 585 pages of the proposed withdrawal agreement plus the explanation notes – that makes her a hero in my eyes – and declares that “Northern Ireland, to all intents and purposes, becomes separated in many ways from the rest of the United Kingdom”, with the backstop arrangements looking like they were written by the Irish government.
All in all it means that the Republic of Ireland would, effectively, be representing Northern Ireland in the EU, she believes. A highly respected politician, one not given to exaggeration, I would say she has got it right. That was one page of newspaper I saved from the flames.
Then, of course, there are the Scots whose nationalism is getting a fresh kick from the Brexit chaos.
Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s First Minister, accuses Theresa May of asking people to “take a blindfold leap off a cliff” with her Brexit deal. Ms Sturgeon, as we all know, has her heart set on independence for Scotland.
She may yet be successful second time around. How amazing it is that women are playing such a big role in the whole Brexit saga.
Years ago Margaret Thatcher had the political field all to herself. Had she been in charge today she would long ago have hand-bagged Jean-Claude Junker and the elegant Mr Barnier into submission. Theresa May, on the other hand, looks like the one being hand-bagged.
So when does this crisis begin to calm down so that the rest of us can get on with planning our Christmas?
It’s not looking good.
Into the mix has come Josep Borrell, the Spanish foreign minister worried about Gibraltar’s position, and Madrid also isn’t happy either, still smarting from the Catalonians illegal bid for independence.
Brexit has just opened up whole can of worms. And I haven’t even mentioned Greece.