2020 Dec 06 - Brexit & Fishing

This past year people might not have been paying attention but the Brexit clock has steadily been ticking along, although for me the only clock it reminded me of is that one in the movie Groundhog Day where it flips over ever morning and Bill Murray has to do the same story to camera day after day after day. But in a year where Covid has dominated the news story it’s almost somewhat refreshing, a throwback to last year, seeing Michel Barnier stumbling out of a limo spouting a bunch of nonsense from behind a blue and yellow-starred facemask. If the recycling of old news continues then I guess it can’t be long until CNN returns to it’s live search for that downed Malaysian airplane off of Australia. At the time of that story I came up with two terrible Malaysian Airline jokes, the first one got no response and the second one was shot down in flames. I wonder if they’re retelling that joke it at Diego Garcia, at least I think that was one of the conspiracies doing the rounds at the time.

Anyway, the main Brexit story as I said has been the EU going back to its Theresa May era tactic of refusing to budge on a couple of important things on the assumption that Boris will concede in much the same way that he’s had to when confronted by his former ladyfriends’ lawyers. There’s probably some good euphemistic jokes in there about how Michel Barnier wants to do to the PM what Boris did to Guardian journalist Anna Fazackerley. Supposedly the main sticking point in the EU negotiation has been fishing rights and given Emanuel Macron’s current unpopularity at home, if he were to somehow pull off this political feat then it would be one of the most spectacular surprises involving fish since that story about the 5 thousand and some loafs. Certainly leaks to the press heavily imply that everyone else around the table on the EU side are keen for Mr Macron to just be quiet so that they sign some kind of lose trading agreement, mostly involving German cars, and get on with the important business of whether to order the lamb, the chicken or the veal or discuss whether Han Shot First

The UK and the EU have until the end of the year to agree a trade deal as well as other things: especially getting round to translating whatever document comes out. EU law requires that it be published in several languages before they can legally pass it. It does lend a certain irony to the fact that draconian anti-trust laws and fines against Google are being legislated for at the very time when they need Google Translate more than ever. Unless of course Boris employs a retaliatory French move, stands up lighting a gauloise cigarette and walks out the room as someone plays some Debussy on the piano, safe in the knowledge that Germany is too terrified of a trade war to let anything very much actually happen. Perhaps was the plan all along though, that the EU needs to stick to indefensible demands in order for everyone to walk away from the table blaming the other side and with the UK no longer holding back further integration. Or perhaps they’re just stubborn. There’s a only expression that to Err is human but to successfully blame it on someone else shows political shrewdness and to really screw it up probably involves a plan. There’s also another one that to Err is human but to Arr is pirate and to Oar is canoeing.
Share >>>