Welcome 2019 – Brexit Expectations & Apprehension


By Deborah Thomas

Happy New Year from London.

What a year 2018 has been all around the world for us all. From deadly Tsunamis, devastating floods, retail giants collapses, thousands of job losses, nothing has been more captivating like Brexit. There has never been so much drama over any topic like what we have now in the country. The remain campaigners have launched an offensive on the Brexit result and now they want a second referendum. Will they get it?

Brexit Means Brexit

23rd of June 2016 Referendum election saw the largest turnout of voters that this country has seen since the post war election turnout in 1950 despite the population being lower then compared to the present day. The turnout was 72.2% with 51.9%, (17,410,742) of the population voting to leave and 48.1% (16,141,241) voting to remain dividing the country nearly to the middle.

This result saw The Ex Prime Minister, David Cameron resign despite his project fear campaign. He started so confidently thinking he had it all in the bag and many prominent remainers started celebrating thinking they won the vote. The results sent shockwaves across the country especially after such a brutal and devising campaign that involved nearly every mover and shaker in finance and politics.

It was Project Fear at it’s finest and at some stage many thought there would be an apocalypse and everything and anything business will collapse. George Osborne, the Ex Chancellor rolled ambiguous predictions that ultimately backfired. He claimed we would lose trade and investment, clothes and food would be more expensive, 500,000would lose their jobs and we only remain permanently poor outside the EU

Source – Daily Mail

The swords and knives were all out and sadly the Remainers lost. It was inevitable that David Cameron had to leave as it was clear he had no plan and consequently could not carry on.

After a leadership contest, the Resilient Theresa May, a Remainer at heart steps on to the hot PM seat to carry on. Her cabinet was full of Remainers and so getting the ship sailing would always be a nightmare no matter how much she wanted to get on with the job and no matter how many times during her campaign in 2016, she said “Brexit Means Brexit” and there would be no attempts to stay within the European Union.

The drama continued with trips to Brussels and coming back with nothing substantial. Ended up calling a snap general election thinking her position has PM would be more solidified but narrowly survived. Her poor choice of calling for a general election resulted to her weakened government that led to her forming a coalition with the Irish DUP.

This was indeed a missed opportunity for the Labour Party to take control of the government despite the rise Jeremy Corbyn popularity. Mrs May struggled with the Brexit negotiations right from her start of premiership because she was never a leaver at heart so it was quite an arduous task negotiating what you don’t believe in.

Jeremy Corbyn

Mrs May has had all thrown at her from several senior cabinet ministers resigning, 2 Brexit Secretary resignations and a third of her conservative parliament plot to oust her for her handling of the Brexit negotiations. Not to mention the thousands of protests in London demanding for a people’s vote and even a second referendum.

An anti-Brexit campaigner dressed as Theresa May

Will her luck run out in 2019 or has she got any more to pull out of her sleeves?

This is yet to be seen as we now approach the withdrawal scheduled date, 29th March 2019 and there is no confirmed Brexit deal. She has a deal negotiated with the EU but majority of the parliament and the country are not happy with. From the number of complaints in the media, it is already looking like this deal will be voted down.

Strangely enough when you ask the regular person walking in the street, they do not seem to understand what this 585 page agreement is. You would think that all these politicians arguing amongst themselves wiil stop for a minute to simplify this documents and get the population involved.

The Agreement Deal courtesy Sky News

The following points stands out from the Brexit withdrawal agreement:

The whole of the UK will remain within the EU customs union.
Northern Ireland will remain within parts of the EU single market.
There will be no fixed end date to that arrangement.
The UK will not be able to withdraw unilaterally from that arrangement.
An independent panel will rule on when the measure can end.
The Brexit transition period can be extended beyond December 31, 2020, if there is still no agreement on a future relationship.

Her famous quote “Brexit Means Brexit” will have quite a battle ahead as the plot thickens and anti Brexit campaigners like Tony Blair who is fighting tooth and nail to reverse Brexit by demanding for a second referendum because he feels a lot of people might have changed their minds since the original election. This is rather unfortunate as it is an open display of contempt for democracy, especially looking back at his legacy.

Tony Blair hugging EU President Jean Claude Juncker

On their side of the coin, people seem to be forgetting the massive turnout of people that voted to leave. What would they be demanding for at this stage if Brexit is cancelled? The matter of Brexit has now unfortunately become more complicated and now divides our country. With final countdown looming with a possibility of a no deal Brexit by the time we exit, what happens next? Will Theresa May be doing another dance like she did at the Conservative Party Convention? We will just have to wait and see.

There are several scenarios:

1. We walk out of the EU without a deal damning the consequences because they need us to buy their goods due to our extremely large consumption of EU goods and products.
2. Cancel Brexit and cause a rise in extremism and a complete loss of confidence in democracy.
3. Take the “Hard Brexit” route and risk the remainers continuous protests.
4. Take the 50/50 BR\recit route and not make anyone happy.
5. Keep the debates going and take as long as possible until we all forget.

Whatever happens, my conclusion is that we should let democracy prevail.

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