If you want to tour Scotland or Northern Ireland, you had better do it sooner rather than later…
Words by William Cooper.
Last Friday, after a few pints of very strong cider, I led drunkenly on my bed and turned the TV on. They were replaying the opening ceremony of the 2012 London Olympic Games. It was the first time I had seen it and understood it. I was too young to fully appreciate the atmosphere it created and the message it sent when it happened live.
But in that moment, as I lay next to my partner who by which point had already fallen asleep, and I gazed with slightly blurred vision at the images on the screen, I could only think to myself, in my slightly jumbled and Perry-flooded mind: What has happened to Britain?
That opening ceremony and the games that followed it were the last time that Britain really felt like a proud, united nation. Since, we have divided, gone separate ways. Why can’t we go back to that moment in 2012 when everyone was united? The 2018 World Cup brought some joy back, but it wasn’t the same. By that point, the divide was too large.
Brexit has torn this country apart. It was a stark reminder that direct democracy, rather than representative democracy, whilst being the purest form of democracy, was fraught with difficulties and room for interference. Now, as a no-deal Brexit has been quietly announced with the EU, the UK are set the crash out of the EU on the 1st January 2021 and crumble to the bottom of the trade ladder, to be laid bare on the floor of the WTO.
We will be a nation with no trade agreement with the largest trading bloc in the world, and with a trade agreement with the USA that is so one sided that we may as well just become another American state. I’m serious. This really isn’t good.
We were told that Brexit was ‘oven-ready’ that the deals with the EU and other such trading partners just needed to be signed and ratified. What a load of bullshit. There have been no deals the entire time. Which makes you ask yourself: What have the government actually been doing? And before you say, ‘they have been tackling COVID’, yes that’s true. But Brexit happened four years ago. Lockdown in the UK began on 23rd March (not the 16th, Mr Hancock).
Moreover, these ‘oven-ready’ deals were announced by the Prime Minister Boris Johnson before the 2019 election, before even the first outbreak of COVID in Wuhan, China. So surely COVID should not have even been a factor in Brexit, because the deals were, according to our government (the government that many voted for) all ready to go?
But when have we ever trusted politicians? Never, because it’s easy to tell when a politician is lying. Their lips move. Brexit will be the death of the UK, I swear it. Any Brexiteers who still believe that Brexit will ‘level-up’ Britain and kickstart its new growth, then you need to go look in the mirror. Look really deeply into your reflection and ask yourself: What did Brexit mean in 2016, and what does it mean today?
You probably cannot even give me a succinct definition of Brexit. And that’s okay, that’s not your fault. Okay, its a little your fault. But you were hoodwinked into doing this. Your head is so far down the rabbit hole, and has been there for so long, that you have forgotten what reality really looks like. Again, that’s not your fault. Your heads were pushed down those rabbit holes by politicians whose only reason for Brexit is to either get them to №10, or to make them an obscene amount of money.
Because of Brexit, the union of the United Kingdom will collapse. Just give it time. Northern Ireland will issue its Border Poll, under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement in 1998, and the Republic will do the same. Ireland will unite as a whole nation, and Northern Ireland will re-join the EU. Scotland will hold another Independence referendum, as in 2014, and will leave the union, and re-join the EU. All that will be left will be England and Wales.
Scotland now has even greater precedent to hold an IndyRef2, since the one in 2014 was found, in the Russia Report, to have been interfered with by Russia. Boris will hold off for a while, but Scotland will get their second referendum. His reasons for Scotland remaining part of the union are weak; indeed, the reasons he is giving Scotland for remaining a part of the UK, are the exact same reasons he has ignored when advocating for and ‘delivering’ Brexit. The man is a walking hypocrisy.
And yet, despite all this, no one discusses these issues. No one at my work, except for the few ardent political fanatics like myself, are even bothered by Brexit. It is them I feel most for, for when the icy water starts leaking into the Brexit dinghy, they will scream and moan and complain and be frightened. But they will not have realised that this was a long time coming.
Even as far back as Theresa May’s government, with her two Chiefs of Staff, Fiona Hill and Nick Timothy, the wheels of no-deal Brexit began to slowly turn. Now they are at full throttle; the brakes were thrown away long ago.
The question is: Why can’t we admit that we were wrong? It is highly doubtful that people still really believe in Brexit. But such is the British temperament. We never admit that we are wrong, its physically impossible. To admit that we were wrong would entail the government eating a slice of humble pie the size of the Sahara Desert, and grovelling like a beggar at the feet of the EU.
I’m not saying to reverse the decision, but can we at least recognise that we were wrong? No, that moment has unfortunately been and gone. We are on a one-way system now, with no turn off or lay-bys. Just one exit: Political and socio-economic oblivion. Full steam ahead, the sooner we get there the less painful the impact, presumably…