A Year On

Here we are with one year of Brexit under our belts, and the unmitigated disaster that it is couldn’t be clearer. No European Union (EU) Member State has shown any interest in following the UK and departing from the block. If anything, observing the negative impact of Brexit on the UK has strengthened unity within EU. The end-of-year review of Brexit by Bloomberg finds not a one economic positive and a lot of significant damage[1]. It’s not alone either. Finding positives is like the search for the Yeti.

Such is the great embarrassment of Brexit that UK civil servants are told not to mention it. Brexit does not mean Brexit anymore. It means shush be quiet.

There is little doubt the COVID-19 pandemic has shifted the focus away from the effects of Brexit and allowed the UK Government to avoid the scrutiny that would normally be applied. So far, worldwide COVID-19 deaths total 5,410,921 (Source: Johns Hopkins). Thankfully the extensive vaccination programmes across the globe are working. New Year’s Eve parties will be going ahead in England. Nevertheless, there’s an atmosphere of caution and it’s likely that 2022 will arrive to muted celebrations.

There’s no rational way of explaining why the Conservative Government in power enacts policies that they know will damage the Country’s strength, safety, security, economy, and social fabric. The only explanation is a ridged adherence to dogmatic arrogance, preventing any acceptance of responsibility for the outcome of past decisions. There can be no rational explanation for a trading Nation that chooses to erect trading barriers with its closest neighbours, at a time of considerable global uncertainty[2]. Origin of manufacture customs regulations begin on 1st January 2022 for goods exported from the UK to the EU. This is yet more red tape that will impact UK exports and livelihoods.

Claims made in 2016 that food prices would fall, tax and energy bills would be lower post-Brexit are now completely farcical. It’s true that people were warned that these claims didn’t stand-up but that didn’t deter those who made those outlandish statements. Many of those who made such statements have profited from the last 5-years of troubles. If not always in financial terms they have profited in terms of power and influence[3].

Some of the architects and managers of Brexit have chosen to resign to escape responsibility for the self-inflicted wound. However, a significant advocate of Brexit remains in post. UK Prime Minister Johnson still resides in Number 10 Downing Street. I wonder for how much longer.

If the pandemic has taught us anything it is that the solution to global problems is collaboration. Acting in splendid isolation may appease a small domestic political audience for the short term but longer term it is a hopeless approach. Working togther to meet global challanges is the way forward.

Brexit simply isn’t working and those that have been dealing with it can see a looming crash. The UK starts the New Year with so many Brexit issues still unresolved. Sadly, Brexit supporters continue to pump out fibs and practice chicanery. But slowly and surly the great British public are beginning to wake up and the political tide is turning. 


[1] https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-12-22/how-a-year-of-brexit-thumped-britain-s-economy-and-businesses

[2] https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-59761292

[3] Examples can be seen by looking at the list of those elevated to the House of Lords.

Bury the Past

Politics does descend into absurdity. It’s not unique to our time. What important is that we don’t ignore what’s going on. That approach just abdicates power to the worst amongst us. Attention must be paid to uproot any burying of the past. Corrective action must be taken to re-establish competency and trust.

An absurdity of the moment is the pretence that what happened in the past is irrelevant. That no one in power is answerable for past events. Even those newsworthy events that are relatively recent. This political strategy elevates talk of future actions to cover-up the deficiencies and negligence of the past.

We’ve heard from a Minister of Justice saying that a suspect crime, that happened a year ago, is not the sort of event that the requires investigation. He’s saying that past mistakes and stupidly can escape scrutiny. For any member of the public, a law degree is not needed to know that this is absurdity. It’s right that questions be asked at the highest level.

The UK’s Prime Minister seems intent on concealing any revelations about a Christmas party that may or may not have taken place in No 10 Downing Street[1]. To deny the past is not sustainable. The open display of a culture that ignores rules is shameful[2]. If this proves to be the case strong corrective actions, including resignations would be appropriate.

In addition, there’s a bad habit of saying that criticism of past actions is only “hindsight”. That word is used to diminish the importance of an important issue. What’s worse is that it’s used to justify ignoring fair questions or legitimate criticisms.

Absurdity becomes the norm when this political strategy is used frequently and with little thought. A default position that says, all past events are irrelevant is dangerous and rapidly erodes credibility. A position that then justifies lying to bury past events is supremely crooked.

Conservative politicians in Westminster have got themselves into this extremely bad habit. It’s an arrogant assertion that accountability is for other people. It’s an attempt to by-pass the checks and balances that are necessary in any successful democracy.

As inflation rushes to exceed 5%, the denial that Brexit has had anything to do with this is another absurdity. This habit of burying the past extends to supply chain problems and a decline in trade[3].

Parliament needs to rise and challenge these absurdities. The fabric of our democracy is fraying.

Government credibility is sinking in the quicksand of denial.


[1] https://www.reuters.com/world/uk/uk-pm-johnson-under-fire-over-christmas-lockdown-party-2021-12-08/

[2] https://news.sky.com/story/this-party-is-not-going-to-be-investigated-by-the-police-in-a-years-time-rees-mogg-jokes-about-government-christmas-parties-12489616

[3] https://ukandeu.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/The-impact-of-Brexit-on-UK-services.pdf