The Brexit War.
It might not seem to be the case but the United Kingdom has been at war for two years. Article 50 was a declaration of secession from the Union and the Union was not about to allow that to happen. From the moment that Article 50 was announced a war has been in motion between the two sides.
Europe had many advantages, it had time, unity and more influence on the markets than the UK. That said the UK had a smaller but still powerful economy and also had the vote of the majority to justify their cause.
When a small army mobilises against a greater power they must act decisively and swiftly in order to achieve their objectives. They must confuse and surprise their opponents, break up their alliances and make them unsure. The UK had to break the rules, withdraw the funds, close the borders, protect the fisheries and act as true rebels but they could not. As soon as the UK government began to negotiate (saying please) they placed their wishes in the hands of unelected lawyers and an enemy who knew that time was on their side. The longer the process the weaker their troublesome rebels would become.
The EU knew that the Governments of the United Kingdom were not united, They were not of one voice and given time they would fight among themselves. The greatest weakness was the lack of a Conservative majority and a dependence on the Democratic Unionists. The SNP who lost their plebiscite to secede rejected the UK referendum, a paradox to anyone.
While the EU has remained united and openly belligerent against Brexit the UK has fought itself to a standstill while the EU directed a clever war with a sound strategy.
The Prime Minister is now trying to negotiate the terms of surrender. The EU have agreed that Article 50 can be revoked without the need for a vote. This is as generous as they are going to get.The next move is going to be a period of face saving for the Conservative Party. This surrender will inevitably result in a general election and a new Conservative Leader. The people will have to choose between the failure of the existing government and the possibility of placing Corbyn and Abbott in charge of the nation. In spite of the calls of many, a ‘Hard Brexit’ will not be considered as a risk worth taking by the majority in Parliament – they are not prepared to risk it.
Our leaders started a (political) war from a position of weakness and disunity but it is not they who will pay the price it is as always the poorest and weakest in society that will carry the cost. The huge sums of money paid out to negotiate with the EU could have solved the housing crisis in the UK, reduced the national debt or increased the national minimum wage.
Will MP’s suffer? No they will not, they have been awarded a pay increase as a reward for their failures, they have their Members pensions to look forward to and a period perhaps of well-paid opposition in the House of Commons or aristocratic privilege in the House of Lords.
British independence was a noble cause but a war cannot be won with nobility alone, it must be won with sound strategy, wise leaders and independent generals. We had none of these. They have let us down, we now need a period of stability and strong new leadership to rebuild our unity.
A second referendum is the best hope the Conservatives have of saving some face but they cannot save the people’s desire for an independent Britain. The idea will continue to simmer and will inevitably return to the boil in the future but to a pragmatist this war is already over, to the romantic it is still worth dying for.
©Robin Horsfall 2018
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