Chris Grey’s Brexit blog is a very worthwile read, bringing up the energy to weekly take a detailed look at what is happening in the UK regarding Brexit. Where many others run screaming frustratedly, or deludedly shout ‘get it over with’ as if there’s a simple Gordian knot style solution to solving the complexity of Brexit, especially as it has become based on mutually exclusive notions, as per the quote. Getting it over with simply means you return to the exact same issues the next day, after having needlessly created a gaping hole in your legal framework as well as economy which do nothing but undermine your ability to solve those issues, merely having taken them from ‘important to solve’ to ‘extremely urgent to solve’.
Brexit makes liars of everyone who tries to enact it, even if they are not by nature as mendacious as Johnson or as destructive as Cummings. For it derives ultimately from the lies within the Vote Leave campaign itself which, at heart, promised that Brexit could be done without negative consequences. This led May into such tortured positions on, for example, maintaining ‘frictionless trade’ whilst leaving the institutions that make that possible. It is still present in Johnson and the Brexiters’ underlying position that there can be an open border in Ireland whilst leaving the institutions that make that possible.
The Irish government started planning for Brexit in 2014, a full 2 years before the UK referendum, and lobbied both EU and Cameron to secure a yes vote. In contrast it seems the UK started debating the impact of Brexit on the Irish border in earnest about two weeks before the 29 March cliff-edge. “Easiest deal in history” and all that.
Ireland was streets ahead of the UK when it came to planning for Britain’s exit
What a bleak description from the inside of the House of Commons. There really is no gap between voters and politicians, they’re all blindly groping in the dark. The dread is palpable, with Brexit being a way to express it more than its cause. The dread expresses itself differently elsewhere. We sense change is coming, is here, we sense our institutions and structures are ill equipped for it, while individually we feel change is affecting us like the weather, rolling over us, powerless to change it. The question is does that dread push you to reactionary positions and fear, melancholia for something that never existed in the first place? Or do you look around you for the tools that are within your grasp and start building, disregarding what has no immediate meaning for your own agency? The MP in this article seems to think the existing structures can’t be challenged, even while acknowledging the structures show themselves to be made of sand. Lamenting a lack of agency in the midst of where (in)decision will determine the outcome. Feeling trapped like this MP’s constituents themselves, not realizing the potential tools scattered around her/him. That makes this MP part of the problem, not the forced-to-be-passive-bystander s/he claims to be.
This definitely aligns with what I’ve seen in my network in the past two years. Whether it is just relocating the company to Estonia administratively, to run it online within the single market, or upping sticks and relocating with the company and the family to the EU27. Or getting a EU27 nationality to be able to keep doing what they’re doing within the EU27. While some of the bigger companies moving HQs or starting new subsidiaries is more visible, I already wondered when and how the invisible shift of a few jobs here, a handful there, to the EU27 would become a major news item. As they say here in the Netherlands, SME’s are the motor of the economy, not the juggernauts. Seeing a steady trickle of those SMEs move away from the UK can’t but end up having a big impact economically.