liftoff. we have liftoff…
It’s an irony that on this, the final day of massed sobriety, I need a drink like never before. Today, Friday 31st January 2020 is not the saddest day of my life, but it’s certainly up there with the best of them. I genuinely apologise for my lack of optimism and for my obvious inability to move forward from the (IMHO) disastrous decision 52% of our population made. Sorry, it’s just the way it is and no amount of bell-bonging or coin forging is going to change this. However, it’ll come as no surprise that I just couldn’t let such a momentous day pass without comment.
We’re now entering phase two of the Brexit process, the eleven-month transition period during which we’ll remain subject to EU rules whilst both sides thrash out a final and binding agreement on everything from security to services and fishes to finance. And as the new EU President, the beautifully coiffured ex-school pal of BJ, Ursula von der Leyen, pointed out, our decision inevitably carries costs with it: the more we diverge, the less unfettered access we will have. With The Saj (right-back-at-ya-Urs) already stating we’re following a proactive and non-negotiable policy of ‘non-alignment’ I’d argue that to avoid an immediate impasse we now need to identify how and where we intend to do so and what exactly we hope to gain from adopting any particular position. In short, we need a plan of Baldrick-esque proportions, a plan of even greater cunning. Sadly, lions and donkeys are all that jump to mind.
Furthermore, my mood was not improved by the final pitiful display of contempt shown by a defiantly petulant Farage and his troops in the European Parliament earlier this week. The sneering, flag-waving stance had all the maturity of Kevin-the-teenager being forced to attend his parent’s holiday picnic on a Blackpool beach: it’s my ball and I’m going home. The slightly more dignified, though no less contrived, singing of ‘auld lang syne’ by the remaining EU members at least had some heartfelt warmth and sincerity to it, although the dual ‘England/EU’ match-day scarves were truly cringe-worthy.
Difficult conversations lie ahead, both internally and externally, and I concede that a certain amount of ‘freedom’ will undoubtedly create winners as well as losers, but it would be good to know where the government’s priorities lie. Extreme non-alignment on environmental laws and labour standards could all too easily see me press-ganged back up the fossil-fuelled-fired chimney stacks of Victorian Britain tout suite! A sad day for all concerned.