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brexit1-660x330Bollocks… My favourite English word, in particular when used in conjunction with “what a load of old bollocks”, Brexit falls under the category of when I would use this phrase.
It was also the first word I said to myself when I heard the referendum results back on June the 23rd last year, or more correctly I said “BOLLOCKS! WHAT THE HELL!?” I have avoided writing about this topic for two main reasons, one is that it is a bit too typical for a Brit to talk about British problems and two it’s depressing. Alas I feel it has reached the point where I must talk about it, or more correctly, rant about it. People have asked me why I am “so negative about it” and why I don’t think it is a good thing, so I feel this the perfect opportunity to unpick what a load of old bollocks Brexit really is.

I am however incorrectly labelled as negative by people who I encounter, I prefer to regard myself as an optimistic realist. To prove this point and in the interest of attempting to demonstrate a “balanced argument” (not that in reality one exists when talking about Brexit) I will start on a more positive note.
VotesIf I have learned nothing else over the last few months, it is that the European Union is a deeply flawed organisation. Where once I used to dismiss Euroscepticism as fringe argument, I understand why people do not like it both as a concept and as a practicality in the UK and outside it. I always had a theory that Euroscepticism was going to be eventually triumphant simply based on the name, Euroscepticism suggests a cynical and logical perception that is justifiably being critical, Europhilia on the other hand sounds like a you are a sexual pervert with a lifetime ban of being within 500 feet of a school playground.

The idea of a “pan-Europeanism” was always doomed to failure, we have many things in common with each other as Europeans but not enough to completely put aside cultural differences and forge a single European state. The Euro was also an insane idea, whilst idealistically the idea of a single currency sounds good, merging incompatible economies is a fool’s errand. The UK has always mistrusted the EU (not least because we have a large population of racists), if it had remained as it had started, that is an economic area rather than a political union, maybe the UK wouldn’t have felt the need to have a referendum…maybe. The truth is I understand why a great many people voted Brexit, to those of us who benefit from the EU (such as myself living and working in the Netherlands) it is a wonderful organisation that makes things cheap and allows me to live and work anywhere within its borders. But if you have not benefitted from the status quo because you live on low income and could never dream of visiting an EU country, then a vote for Brexit that promised more money for healthcare (an outright lie) and more jobs through reducing immigration (also a bullshit lie) would seem attractive (forgetting that most economic problems have been caused by years of aggressive economic cut backs by the government who said we needed a referendum).

I am also a left wing voter (about as popular to admit these days as saying that you support the KKK), and people forget that the left has hated the EU for a long time. Whilst it has been good for big business the EU doesn’t always support local industries, many of whom had been affected badly in the UK and a reason why so many Leave voters were angry farmers with pitchforks. As a left wing voter however blaming the EU for all of our economic troubles is in all honesty fucking insane. This is the bit now I will be negative.brexit-1485004_960_720

Since the disestablishment of the British Empire, British people don’t really know who they are anymore, certainly not on an international level. Many Britons still believe they retain some semblance of Imperial power and influence  in the world, whilst others recognise that we are rapidly turning into a de-regulated banana republic (apart from the fact we have a queen in a fancy hat). The European Union in many ways has been our way of surviving economically since the collapse of Imperial prestige, but it has not been a loving relationship (an apt metaphor for my first girlfriend incidentally). We like the idea of money, something we have in common with our Dutch friends, but not the idea of being anything less than the blood sucking evil empire that we once were (though these days we have to put up with simply colonising Hollywood villains). As the old saying goes “twice the pride, double the fall” or was that Count Dooku in Star Wars? Anyway the point is this post-colonial attitude has been a self-destructive quality in British society for a long time, a very long time. Brexit has in my opinion been the pinnacle of that self-inflicted pompous, arrogant, self-interested thought process.

MayAnyway, no point getting upset about the fact that the vote happened because there is nothing I can do about it anymore, I guess the most important thing is to make sure we come to a good agreement with the EU and foster a strong relationship with them after we leave, that’s the priority of the government right?
WRONG, so wrong, at least if they are trying then it’s trying in the same way as a person with no legs is trying to run. So far the UK negotiation strategy has been, “you need us more than we need you, so you will have to give us a good deal”. Whilst I agree one must appear strong for a good negotiation strategy, appearing arrogant and overconfident is also a sign of a weak negotiating position. The EU had, understandably, also expected the UK to have a plan ready to implement, but have been a bit confused by the fact that nobody really knew what Brexit was other than our glorious queen of darkness Theresa May (Theresa The Appeaser). Apparently “Brexit means Brexit” that was soon made abundantly clear, but for those who were still left feeling confused she made it crystal clear by adding that she wanted a “Red, White and Blue Brexit”. So now that we have a PM who knows exactly (sic) what words mean and can name at least three different colours, she has eventually explained to us all what a Red, White and Blue Brexit means, hasn’t she ?  Brexit was actually code for “get rid of the fucking foreigners”. This inevitably means leaving the single market, you know, the one market (clues in the name really) that the UK does most of its trade with (59%), and by extension trades with other nations globally.

article-2185322-1453AD23000005DC-81_306x423Since it was the people who were the ones asked to decide on whether or not to remain in the EU, it seems to make logical sense that it should be they who decide how we leave it as well (let the people who voted for it sort it out is what I say). This is not a view shared by our government sadly, who in the name of democracy are demanding that the PM have absolute say with no accountability to the people. Apparently is called the Royal Prerogative, that’s a new one on me. Since the supreme court has ruled that this would be wrong (not unconstitutional, as we don’t have one of them), the PM has since behaved like a moody teenager stating that she’d rather have no deal what so ever than a bad deal with the EU. She has also, as a negotiating strategy, relied on the emotional blackmail skills of a primary school child by saying to the EU “if you are nasty to us we will be nasty to you, and that’s not what friends do and it would be not very nice of you”. What next ? Maybe “I’ll scream and scream until I’m sick ? I am not a diplomatic expert by any means but so far any reasonable person would analyse the negotiating strength of the UK to be about as strong as the Luxembourg military’s chances of declaring, and winning a war with Russia. Maybe Boris Johnson is our “ultimate” secret weapon in diplomatic strategy though?

Maybe my critics are correct and I am far too negative and over dramatic !!!!!!!. Possibly there is a bright future ahead for the UK, If there is, I have yet to see where this optimism radiates from that they talk about (other than out of their arses). I believe though that Brexit has opened up a can of worms, in fact the “mother” of all cans of worms, which the UK has been struggling to ignore for a long time. The UK has developed a deep sense of racism towards foreign peoples, and we have lost our sense of identity since we are no longer the big bad bully of the world. There is nothing so pathetic as a bully who has lost their sense of importance and dominance in the playground. I have tried to ignore my own self-interests so far but I feel it is only fair to mention the anxiety shared by most British expats who live and work in the EU, namely, the failure to guarantee EU citizens who live in the UK the right to remain post Brexit. People such as myself have been put on edge, not knowing if we may be forced back to the country from which we have been desperately trying to escape. I see the failure of the British government to adopt a more compromising stance in its negotiations as a failure of leadership, a betrayal of the British people and an imaginative interpretation of the single word answer to the referendum – “Yes”. For any negotiations to have a chance of success on leaving an economic block requires trust and goodwill as well as strength. Until the UK government is willing to drop its arrogant attitude towards the negotiating process, it can expect a Brexit that will hurt the people of the UK for generations to come. Whilst within the safety of the EU the British Governement has always had the safety net of blaming the EU  for all the ill’s and misfortunes that it befalls. In the future the UK will no longer have the EU to blame for its problems.
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