Just back from 4-days in Cologne. It’s one of the best times of the year to be in the city. The Christmas Markets are in full swing. As we flew out of Heathrow the debate on the UK Parliamentary vote was running on. As we flew back into Heathrow the same debate was going on with the same predicable ups and downs. It’s a wonder that anything new can be found to be said. Like a special industry to keep the media on its toes maybe perpetual motion isn’t an impossibility.
There will be a rally in London on Parliament Square this coming Tuesday, 11th to coincide with the Brexit vote. The signs are that the vote will be lost. Mrs May’s deal will fall. From that moment on all becomes unpredictable although there are many who would tell you they know what will happen.
To concentrate minds 29 March gets ever nearer. Action to rescind Article 50 could happen but who would make it happen? A cliff edge Brexit, without a deal could happen but who would allow it? Both the Economist and the Times leaders back a People’s Vote. With the UK Parliament completely deadlocked the best option would be to put the question back to the people.
The Brexit Monopoly Board is full of traps. Every shake of the dice is a risky manoeuvre. There’s no get out of jail free card. Yes, the cards can change your fortune, but a lot of luck is needed.
My observations from having a few days in Cologne are again full of mixed messages. On the one hand, the almighty wheels of business as usual continue to turn. On the other hand, signs of disaffection and disconnection are slowly growing. Numerous Brits I’ve worked with over the years now have more than one passport. A few are planning to return to the UK. Most have given-up on hoping the whole Brexit fiasco will go away.
Domestic British obsessions do catch the news in Germany. Like a Shakespearean tragedy unfolding in slow time but much as a Carnival side show unrelated to real events. Yes, we all need each other in Europe but not so much as to total indulge one group or another.
Friday was International Civil Aviation Day. Connecting people across the global. Helping people move freely is one way to make a better world. Aviation is a great example of successful human cooperation and effective global partnership. The UK is home to many aerospace companies and leading research organisations. The UK needs a place in Europe and a place in the world NOT one or the other. A vague political declaration is no substitute for the Membership of the EU we (UK) has now.
I wonder what next Tuesday will bring for the UK?
If you are looking for light relief from the unending speculation and continuous news cycle, listen to the Dead Ringers Christmas Special on BBC Radio 4.