GREAT NEWS! Contrary to all you may have read or heard, Britain is NOT leaving the EU.
Brexit was all a bad dream. Like a staggering hangover the morning after a riotous night at the Red Lion, Britain has awakened with a bad head to the hazy recollection of a rip-roaring row with the Nearest and Dearest whose frigid, rigid body now clings to the far side of the mattress.
Maybe it’s a Man Thing. You cough and clear your throat, ratchet up your voice a couple of octaves to the ‘Gentle’ setting and begin an obsequious attempt to ‘laugh it off’.
“You all right this morning,love?”
Her shoulders stiffen. No reply.
“Cup of tea?”
“Uh.” The thaw is underway. You hadn’t meant everything you said last night, her mother is a saint, her waistline is STILL what it was on your wedding day and there isn’t a barmaid down the pub who could hold a candle to the mother of your children.
By breakfast time an uneasy peace prevails. Lunch in a good restaurant, far from temptation (“No, I’m not drinking, just a jug of tap for me…”) and Last Night’s Little Rumpus is almost forgotten.
Well, that’s how it is with the EU Referendum. It was all. . . well, So Last Week.
Consider this: we are quite used to the sight of bruised losers slinking from the battlefield, defeated and downcast. But rarely does one see the victor melting away from his winning arguments like snow in August the morning after with quite as much disturbing determination as that exhibited by the Brexit Band.
That £350million the UK “sent to Brussels” every week?
“I would never have made that claim,” said UKIP leader Nigel Farage when asked by ITV whether he could guarantee that the money would, as promised, now go the NHS.
But surely the claim was central to the official Vote Leave campaign and was emblazoned on the side of the bus which shuttled fellow Leavers Boris Johnson and Michael Gove around the country?
“That was one of the mistakes made by the Leave campaign,” the Leave campaigner admitted.
Still, at least we can now halt the flood of EU immigrants entering this almost-independent-once-more country of ours and taking all the jobs?
Not so, leading Brexit campaigner and Conservative MEP Daniel Hannan told the BBC’s Newsnight. “Frankly, if people think there is now going to be zero immigration from the EU, they are going to be disappointed.”
Apparently, what we have vetoed is our political membership of the EU; we still need to trade in the European common market. And to do that, Mr Hannan admitted, the UK will have to accept the free movement of its peoples.
Nonetheless, you argue, we have voted and are now committed to getting ourselves out of the European Union ASAP.
Not necessarily. Giving notice of his intention to resign from Number 10 in October, Prime Minister Cameron said he would leave it to “fresh leadership” to invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, which would start the two-year process of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.
Over to Boris, The Man Most Likely To. . .
“No need for haste,” the jackal-like Johnson snaped, hours after it became apparent that Britain had voted 52 to 48 per cent in favour of Brexit. Despite our European partners – and they will remain our partners until we formally quit the Union – requesting that we take immediate departure action by triggering Article 50 of the Treaty of Lisbon, Boris is strangely reluctant. “Nothing will change over the short-term” he said.
Indeed, we could be in for a second referendum, thanks to Mr Farage’s political foresight.
Farage has always insisted that a close vote would be unacceptable, telling the Daily Mirror in May that, for instance, “a 52-48 referendum would be unfinished business by a long way,” in which event, he hinted, he would push for a second referendum.
Those figures have come back to haunt him: his prediction came true, except the Leave and Remain votes were swapped round!
So, rather than simply portraying Cameron as the defeated and Johnson as the victor, I commend to you a post in the Guardian’s comments section which lays out a scenario in which Johnson’s predicament looks far worse.
“Johnson has been outmanoeuvred and check-mated,” runs the comment, by a prolific and anti-Brexit commentator identified as Teebs. “If he runs for leadership of the party, and then fails to follow through on triggering Article 50, then he is finished.
“If he does not run and effectively abandons the field, then he is finished.
“If he runs, wins and pulls the UK out of the EU, then it will all be over: Scotland will break away, there will be upheaval in Ireland, a recession, broken trade agreements.
“And he is also finished. Boris knows all of this.”
Add to all of this the fact that the referendum result is merely advisory and non-binding and that a petition calling for a second poll has exceeded 3million names (anything over 100,000 automatically triggers a Commons debate) and Brexit is NOT a done deal.