EU • Europe • Political Parties • Post

Brexit Bloody Hell

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I’ve never frequented a vegan restaurant. Never would. So I can only imagine that they don’t serve ribeye steak.

I suppose, if one is adventurous, you could take a seat. Tell the waiter you’d like a ribeye steak. Doubtless, the waiter would politely explain why that particular restaurant doesn’t serve meat.

“But, I want a ribeye! And I’m not leaving without one,” you could reply.

Perhaps one or two clandestine carnivores, dragged by their girlfriends into Gaia, or whatever it might be called, would confidentially admire your blooded gall.

“This is a vegan restaurant, sir.”

“I want a ribeye.”

“We don’t serve meat, sir.”

“But I want a ribeye—not leaving without one.”

“We don’t serve meat, sir.”

“Medium-rare, please.”

Perhaps you’d then leave having scored points of principle. Probably not. The entirety of patrons would likely think you were a buffoon. After all, you could have ordered the most palatable slop on the menu, pleased whomever had dragged you there, and later, somewhere else, ripped apart a meal fit for rational beings.

The point being: meat is not on the menu. It should be. But it is not.

Another menu lacking anything of sustenance is the Brexit menu. Glaringly absent is no-deal. After three years, what we do have is Theresa May’s half deal, or no Brexit at all.

Despite the prime minister this week promising to stand down, if her “Withdrawal Agreement” later went through, the lawmakers who back in January tried to cut her down, decided they don’t want that either. As it stands, the hardest of Brexiteers refuse to budge in wait of a chimerical no-deal Brexit.

The peculiarity of British politics thickens. Lawmakers not too keen on leaving the EU this week fought to wrest control from the government. They got what they wanted.

Then, in a series of “indicative votes” Thursday night, they added eight options to the menu. They proceeded to vote every option down—including a second referendum, despite, you know, spending near three years clamoring madly for one.

Even The Guardian, where all humor goes to die, whittled a joke out of that debacle.

A bigger joke is May’s deal. Yes, three courses of awful. And anyone with a soupçon of tact would have placed a “no deal” Brexit front and center. Taking that off the table means the EU doesn’t have to offer Britain anything palatable. Doubtless, if President Trump did the talking, we’d now repossess the Empire.

May’s mung bean soup is all we had. Until lawmakers voted that down, on Friday, for the third time. What’s on the menu now? That is anyone’s guess. Our current parliament doesn’t know. That’s for sure.

Yes, even with hardliner Jacob Rees-Mogg,  another 42 Tory defectors, five Labour lawmakers, and Boris Johnson all coming round in favor, the deal died. Again. This time with a majority of 58.

All depended on her partners, the Democratic Unionist Party, whose 10 lawmakers prop up her government. All 10 voted the deal down owing to the maddeningly intractable “backstop” issue concerning the border between Northern Ireland and Ireland.

Nigel Dodds, leader of the DUP, even said he’d rather remain in the EU, than risk Northern Ireland’s position within the union. Which is not, ahem, ideal, if you’re a Brexiteer.

Our deadline, which was 11 p.m. on Friday, is now April 12. The holdouts can pretend a no-deal Brexit is less than two weeks away. Perhaps they haven’t been listening. It’s never going to happen. The risk of leaving with a ravening stomach is the likely end.

Remainers know this. Last weekend, they clotted London streets with twee placards designed largely to heap the attention on themselves. Some of them were truly brazen. Whereas most call for a “people’s vote” in hope of overturning the people, a sizeable chunk want to revoke Article 50—the Brexit moonshot—and cancel the whole thing, without the silly pretense of democracy.

They perhaps feel that their indulgently public demands to nullify the largest democratic mandate in our history is preferable to the farcical state of affairs within our parliament. A notion which is not entirely blameless.

The fact that 400,000 people (which claimed to be 1 million) even consider, publicly, overriding the democratic will of their fellow citizens says a great and gross deal about the incompetence of our political class.

Yet, this is where we are. May’s deal, killed three times, still twitching. Dead.

This is despite the prime minister offering to stand down. May, in fairness, tried to fall on her sword. Being Theresa May, she missed. Which perhaps sums up this quite unbelievable farce.

We’re in genuinely uncharted territory. After the defeat, May told lawmakers: “I fear we are reaching the limits of this process in this House.”

Which some take as a hint of a general election. Another grand waste of time which would tell us nothing. Despite the media insistence, nobody has changed their mind. Even the exceptionally hysterical ramblings of Project Fear had no effect. Rather than petrify in the face of no-deal, a sizeable number said it was their preferred choice.

What is most likely? A long extension of our deadline. One which, Remainers will hope, never ends. And that’s is the point. Check out the EU’s history with the pesky proles. They make the rubes vote again and again until they provide the correct answer.

Sadly, those who’ve spent decades fighting the EU should know all too well how these things pan out. Those diehards, the ones that killed May’s deal, are (apart from Americans, of course) the original Brexiteers.

They were Brexit before it was cool. When Euroskepticism was the strange brew of the swivel-eyed. And the politely mad.

And their chance has gone. Everything they ever wanted. Right there in front of them. And they said no. Yet, thanks to their demand for only the finest Brexit of Wagyu beef, we will leave with nothing.

Meanwhile, Great Britain, an allegedly serious country, is reduced to a Latin American banana republic. Without the sunshine.

Photo Credit: Peter Summers/Getty Images