Should the inquest ever come to be held on why Britain committed national economic and diplomatic suicide by crashing out of the European Union without a deal, April Fool’s Day 2019 will be the most important day to examine.
Today is the day to stop fucking around with mad Soft Brexit unicorns like a customs union or Common Market 2.0. The very idea that any arrangement can be negotiated with the EU at a few days’ notice is utterly ridiculous. The only possible deal we could get would be one that would put UK at a massive disadvantage to the EU. Two years was spent negotiating on Theresa May’s deal. It’s a bad deal for Britain, because our fundamental strategic economic weakness made that inevitable, but it’s the best one we can get and still Brexit.
The fact that there are still large numbers of the public who think crashing out is going to be a matter of a short period of belt-tightening then we’ll be fine is a national disgrace – a disgrace for which the BBC bears a large share of the responsibility. The BBC’s conduct must be placed at the centre of any future inquiry.
The best deal Britain can get from the EU is the one that we spent the last 45 years negotiating: the one we already have. The only available alternative is Theresa May’s deal. That is why there are only two options left on the table that make any kind of sense: the first is the Kyle-Wilson proposal for parliament to vote through May’s Deal on the condition that it then goes to a ratification referendum with two options on the ballot paper: May’s Deal or Remain. This is a viable option in that it is straightforward and something the EU can understand, and therefore may agree to. Remember, we have now reduced ourselves to supplicants to the European Council.
If Theresa May and her Tories cannot agree to a ratification referendum, then there is only one option left, the one that should have expired on 29 March but the EU kindly extended to 12 April, which is to revoke Article 50 and stay in with our existing deal.
All else is bullshit and it is an utter scandal to see Tories and Labour – and the media – focusing on garbage like a General Election or, God help us, a Tory leadership election. Yes, those things are going to be needed, but we have 12 days to come up with a proposal that the EU will accept, or to revoke Article 50, which they will have no choice but to accept. It’s one minute to midnight, folks.
It looks like Labour may whip its MPs for sanity and a second referendum today. Let’s hope so. The Labour party failed to support the indicative vote for the ‘revoke Article 50 in an emergency’ option – for the very mature reason that it was proposed by the SNP, who they hate. Today is the day to put that right – let’s hope they do. But there remains the issue of Northern Labour MPs defying the whip and voting with the ERG for national oblivion. The descent of the North of England into unrecoverable decline and social disaster will be not only the Tories’ fault, but it will also be their fault, and we will never forget that.
Northern Umbrella will be watching you!