Crisis? What Crisis?

As we might expect there’s a fair amount of rabble rousing going on in Birmingham this week[1].  Although they are the political party in power now, it maybe as well to ignore the poorly judgement and fake anger of most of the speeches at the Conservative Party conference.  Stepping back for a moment there are realities that need to be faced.  All the bullish froth, finger wagging, and paranoia cannot cancel hard cold facts.

Although Chancellor Hammond has been portrayed as Eeyore[2], he at least had one or two grown-up things to say this week.  “The global internet giants must contribute fairly to funding our public services”, now who can’t agree with that?

At the same time, Mrs May and he are wedded to a plan called “Chequers”.  However, no majority exists in the UK Parliament to pass such a plan.  In addition, the EU has indicated that the plan, as it stands, is not on.   Unless both sides, doing the real negotiation soften their “red lines” there will be no agreement.  Just to heighten the tension, no majority exists, or will exit in the UK Parliament for a “no deal” outcome.

Crisis? What Crisis?[3] The album cover art of the album of that name, by the 70s rock band Supertramp, is remarkably apt for the times.

It is still possible to converge to reach a deal by November, but it is mighty sporty.  That would be in time for the December European Council on Friday 14th.   Then the ratification processes can take place.  I don’t suppose any Parliamentarian would wish to be having a “meaningful vote” on the deal over Christmas.  It is astonishing that, having exhausted more than 2-years of debate over Brexit we continue with such a lack of clarity.  If whatever comes out of the negotiation mixer is passed, then some sanity will be restored for a short-while, at least.

The near-sacred status of 29 March 2019 could be challenged but it is unlikely.  The last voting session before the European Parliament (EP) breaks for elections is 18 April 2019.   Dealing with a whole new EP might not be such a good idea.

So, within the next few weeks we will know if a relatively smooth transition is to take place or an almighty crisis is coming down the tracks.  Then I’ll remember Shelley’s great poem:

“My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings;

Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!

Nothing beside remains. Round the decay

Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare

The lone and level sands stretch far away.”

 

[1] #CPC18

[2] Eeyore is a character in the Winnie-the-Pooh books by A. A. Milne.

[3] Crisis? What Crisis? is the 4th album by the rock band Supertramp, released in 1975 (Year of the first referendum on Europe).

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