The phrase “a week is a long time in politics” attributed to Labour Prime Minister Harold Wilson is as relevant as ever. The 1960’s may be long gone but the words still hold sway in our times of Brexit and volatility. The last week alone gave us much discussion over the speech in Florence, the German election, the Labour conference, and now the Bombardier tariff row with the US.
If a week is a long time then the fifteen months since the referendum can seem like a lifetime. The red bus with a certain multi-million pound figure pasted on the side is still vivid however. Imagine this nightmare analogy with Theresa May as its driver and the rest of the cabinet squabbling behind crying “are we there yet”? Boris Johnson would then be trying to become the back street driver. Would more issues with trade deals and lack of clarity over what is next bring the bus to the edge of the white cliffs of Dover? Let us all hope the brakes are ready!
It appears the foreign secretary may be playing his own games as well as wanting to drive the red bus of Brexit. Calls for him to be sacked from the position continue to surface. Most recently there has been an accusation of breaking ministerial code, as reported in the Independent. Allowing a hard Brexit event at the Foreign Office is an abuse of position in technical terms. Worries over its undertones surrounding The Institute for Free Trade wanting to roll back EU regulations may give Teresa May another headache. Possibly even another walking holiday with time to think what should be done next.
The Conservative cabinet appears every day more broken and imploding like the wooden namesake. Maybe it’s the toxicity of the DExEU? It does seem to be loosing staff, and maybe best to avoid at all costs! A high profile loss would be ex-chief of staff James Chapman, who now through social media backs remaining in the EU. Chapman also describes himself as a recovering daily mail political editor and George Osborne’s right hand man. Admiration should be given to showing courage to admit you were wrong under mounting evidence. Many more could switch sides in the months ahead as progress continues to unravel.
Remain voters crying out in despair at the supposed lack of fight left from the two main parties shouldn’t lose hope. Jeremy Corbyn may be stuck in his ways but London Mayor Sadiq Khan has hinted he would press for a commitment to a further national vote. This came after Kezia Dugdale, Labour’s former leader in Scotland, said the public had the right to have its say in a second referendum. Many out there still feel no Brexit deal would be struck that will be good enough for the country as a whole. EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier has also told reporters in Brussels that “clarity” had been reached on a number of issues following the Florence speech. However he warned that the EU-imposed starting line to move to trade talks could still be “months” away, with the divorce bill to be settled first.
Another busy week is coming up with the Conservative Party conference in Manchester and the Stop Brexit march on Sunday alongside. The country may still leave the EU but there are still many political and legal reasons showing the impossibility in delivery. The referendum shouldn’t have been allowed like it was lacking proper plans on a leave result. However it is a learning curve for the future regarding how campaigns should be run. More games and revelations will be played out in the coming months and even years surrounding the UK’s departure or non-departure from EU.
From Belfast to Brighton, Paisley to Plymouth, and Liverpool to Lowestoft the uncertainty is felt by both sides of the Brexit divide. Businesses, Scientists, Healthcare professionals and those in Education have all shared their concerns over the future. The longer the negotiations go on the more the monetary and diplomacy pains will increase. Some of the public may even be thinking when it is going to end and wish the clock was turned back to before June 2016. The belief for staying as part of the bloc and the growing reasoned evidence on remaining won’t evaporate. If recent polls are anything to come by the tide could be drastically turned back very soon indeed.