2018 Sep 22 - Theresa May in Salzburg

Theresa May has had a fairly bad run of luck with her Brexit plans so when I heard that she was heading out to Austria, I half expected her to land in Melbourne after a miscommunication. Nonetheless, the plane touched down and she began a quick round of negotiations that turned out to be about as productive as a Venezuelan factory.

Mrs May had gone over to Salzburg in order to push her Chequers proposal again but whilst Salzaburg was once home to Mozart, this week it was more Like that John Cage piece where there's utter silence for 4 minutes and nothing meaningful happens. The EU's position, like a pretentious European art film is very black and white: you're either in the club or not and Theresa May can either leave with no deal or sign one in which the UK continues to benefit from all of the EU's "freedoms" such as freedom of moment, freedom for the EU's court in Luxembourg to overturn British legal cases, and of course freedom for the Labour party to not have to get round to deciding their position on any of the issues at stake. For Brussels who want ever closer union, Britain gaining special status would be seen as the start of something precipitous, the diplomatic equivalent of a tv show introducing celebrity cameos or major cast changes.

One other option on the table is the Brussels Backstop, where England Scotland and Wales get to go their own separate way but Northern Ireland becomes permanently annexed into being an EU protectorate in very much the same way that allegedly independent Kosovo has experienced over the past decade.

Just as there will only ever be two series of Fawlty Towers, in this political farce there will only be two options on the table: one of which breaks up the UK and one of which likely leads to the overall break up of the EU. In amidst all of it we might also even see the Labour party break up with the more moderate MPs departing to form a new anti-Brexit centrist party at Westminster. Let's hope not though because electoral charts and graphs are already too colourful and garish in my mind without a new pink or turquoise block having to be add to the mix, all for the sake of Tony Blair or Chuka Umunna's vanity.
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