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The world is laughing: Britain needs a new govt capable of serious talks with EU – and quickly

John Wight
John Wight has written for a variety of newspapers and websites, including the Independent, Morning Star, Huffington Post, Counterpunch, London Progressive Journal, and Foreign Policy Journal.
The world is laughing: Britain needs a new govt capable of serious talks with EU – and quickly
The political crisis that has engulfed the UK over the issue of Brexit has been revelatory, exposing the country as a colonial relic whose future appears bleak.

First a confession: I despise the British State. As an anti-imperialist, I consider it to be a stain on this world, whose malign history and role predates the EU by around 400 years.

It means that on a certain level the crisis to bedevil the UK over Brexit has been a joy to behold, witnessing it spend the past three years twisting and turning as it’s exposed to the stark reality of its status as a second-rate power underpinned by anti-democratic semi-feudal institutions – i.e. the monarchy, Privy Council, House of Lords, and a judiciary which with its wigs, stockings, cloaks and arcane rituals is the perfect embodiment of a 19th-century theme park masquerading as a 21st-century state.

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The country’s newly-installed Prime Minister Boris Johnson breezed into Downing Street in the wake of the ignominious departure of his predecessor Theresa May, unleashing the fabricated buffoonery, synthetic bonhomie, and studied dynamism of a man who’s spent far too many night bingeing on the writings and speeches of Winston Churchill, inspiring him to pledge to the nation the delivery of a hard no-deal (no future) Brexit, no matter what.

But boy oh boy has this Old Etonian scion of privilege and pleasure been exposed as a posturing, pouting non-entity. The ‘will of the people’ demands nothing less, Boris has never tired of proclaiming – since becoming the leader of the UK without the inconvenience of being elected to the role.

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To paraphrase Albert Camus, “The will of the people has always been the alibi of tyrants.”

So where are we now with this dog’s dinner of a political crisis?

Johnson’s attempt to railroad through a no-deal (hard) Brexit by suspending Parliament beyond 31 October, the date of the UK’s departure from the EU, has been scuppered by the very parliamentarians he so obviously holds in contempt.

Only in office for a matter of weeks, BoJo has suffered two parliamentary defeats in as many days, losing 1) his attempt to have ‘no deal’ as an option for Brexit, followed by 2) his motion for an early general election.

This is not a parlor game. Crashing out of the EU without a deal would imperil the estimated 3 million jobs in the UK that are dependent on the country’s existing trade relationship with Brussels. It has likewise been forecast that a no-deal Brexit would disrupt supply chains and bring with it the potential for a shortage of some medicines. Similarly, it would ensue chaos at the ports due to the change in customs arrangements, and most of all it would imperil peace in Ireland.

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You do not have to be a fan of the EU to oppose a hard, no-deal Brexit. All you need to be is a rational human being, someone who understands that in this scenario it would be a case of the cure being worse than the disease.

And isn’t it amazing to behold those Union Jack-waving, Rule Britannia-singing hard Brexiteers harping on about democracy? They really must be having a giraffe.

Because here we have just witnessed a prime minister, a man yet to be elected to the role, seeking and obtaining the permission of the Queen (an unelected head of state) to suspend (prorogue) the country’s elected parliament in order to affect a no-deal Brexit in the teeth of the fierce opposition of a decisive majority of people in Scotland and North of Ireland, not to mention within Parliament.

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Neither hard Brexit nor hard Remain is the ground upon which most reasonable people stand at this juncture. It is why Britain needs, and quickly, a new government – one that is willing and able to engage in serious negotiations with Brussels over not so much the UK’s departure from the EU, but instead the changed nature of that relationship. Serious politics demands nothing less.

Because, make no mistake, the very moment a hard Brexit comes to pass, down the track would come hurtling the train of Scottish independence, fueled by the knowledge that 62 percent of people living in Scotland voted to Remain in the 2016 EU referendum.

London, sorry to break this to you: the world is watching – and laughing.

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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

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