It’s all gonnae end in tears, as sure as the coming of Christmas, or an SNP BAAAAD story making it into one of the first three headlines of a Reporting Scotland news bulletin. Reading the article in today’s National on the latest Brexit machinations it is clear that there will dreepy snotters, and there will be sobs.
Scotland’s Brexit Minister Mike Russell, in the blue and white saltire corner, is frantically jumping up and down shouting ” stop talking yourselves up and start actually listening to what the people you have to negotiate with are saying, and do it now, before it is too late.”
Meanwhile those formerly branded strong and stable, but in fact now found out to be weak , dangerously unstable and for the most part bewildered, in the red, white and blue corner, the Rule Britannianites, and their high flying polling fellow unionist opponents, the leader of whom who seems to have a distinct aversion to Europe even though he’s supposed to an internationalist, in the blue, white and rosy red corner, continue to live on their own wee planet in terms of public proclamations about what the UK will achieve during negotiations to divorce itself from the European Union and all its unholy works.
They have been told almost on a daily basis by the European Union exactly what the European Union’s position is with regards to the UK’s departure from the trading bloc. They’ve had hints, stronger hints, media statements, answers to questions at press conferences, direct approaches, letters, anonymous notes left on the door mat at Downing Street, a message spelt out in the contrails of a flight of French Dassault jet fighters over the straits of Dover, you name it. The next stage must surely require a mime artist performing a ten minute adaptation entitled ‘ You’re humped’ outside the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
The UK are not going to get away with getting access to the toy cupboard without keeping their bedroom tidy and letting wee Jock and Jeannie foreigner from next door come in to watch Puppy Patrol and Dora the Explorer. No chance.
Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, has made it entirely clear, in a statement to an EU committee in Brussels, that Britain will not, once it leaves the EU, have the benefit of the single market. Full stop, not a bargaining pitch, not an opening position, full stop.
There will be negative consequences of the UK leaving the EU, says the bold Michel, but not because of any attempt, apart from the self-inflicted kind, to punish Britain. The fact that the UK leaving the EU is the craziest decision, yes it was a democratic decision, but based on flawed campaigning information (sounds familiar) since Napoleon decided Moscow might be nice in winter, is nothing to do with it. There are likely to be enormous negative economic repercussions, it’s just that nobody fully knows yet what these will be, or if those in power do, they are keeping them very close to Boris Johnson’s chest, heaven help us.
Mike Russell has called for a bit of sanity saying “I am all for being ambitious in negotiations but it is time for the Tories and Labour to be honest with the public and businesses about the path they are determined to pursue. These comments from Barnier make it abundantly clear that this concept of “frictionless” trade outside of the single market and the customs union is simply a figment of Tory and Labour imaginations.”
It is now clear that Theresa May is only still in Downing Street because the cabal of dodgy Brexiteers need someone to absorb flak (they better remember to keep recharging her battery pack) whilst the EU negotiating team run rings around them. The bunch of right wing blowhards still arrogantly stating in their old empire style that “no deal is better than a bad deal” need to seriously start taking notice of the world around them, and take their union flag coloured specs off.
When you remember the opening salvo of the Brexit negotiations a few weeks ago where Brexit Secretary David Davis, who had been talking tough for months about getting Britain’s way on scheduling, stating to all who would listen that if he didn’t get what Britain wanted it would cause the “row of the summer’, before folding like a damp pack of cards when he sat down at the same table as the EU negotiators, giving in to just about everything the EU proposed, it doesn’t bode well. It is time they started listening and stopped acting like it is still 1885.
Mind you they could always pull that dusty copy of the Scottish government’s document “Scotland’s Place In Europe” out from under the leg of the Concierge’s desk at number 10. That might give them a few tips, as might including representatives of the devolved governments in the EU negotiation team, if only as an antidote to Davis and Boris.
There is an saying ‘arrogance is a weakness disguised as strength’. It is certainly true in this case.