Down the Middle


From the results of the EU elections, it looks as if the country is split down the middle though perhaps with a reverse of the 2016 referendum in giving a small majority to the Remainers over the Leavers. Quite how the rump of Labour and Tory supporters  would vote in another referendum is anyone’s guess. However, we might reasonably expect the Tories to vote largely for Brexit in one form or another and a substantial proportion of the Labour rump to vote for Remain. We would still end up with only a small percentage lead of one over the other.

Meanwhile, it must be seriously doubted that the Crown, in the form of Her Majesty’s Government, would be successful in pulling off a No Deal against the will of Parliament, especially in a Parliament where the Speaker is so adamantly  determined to bring the Crown to heel. In any event, it would only take a Tory or two to join the opposition parties to see a No Deal government brought down by a vote of no confidence. With the likes of Grieve and Hammond indicating that they would not support a No Deal government, a general election would be likely and we might expect a coalition of the Lib Dems, the Greens and the nationalist parties to hold the balance of power in Parliament if not an overall majority. Hence, they would be able to block a No Deal Brexit and to join the No Dealers in blocking a soft Brexit without at least a referendum.

In the circumstances,  it must be likely, as it has since 2016, that the UK will remain tied into Europe either as a Remainer member or a soft Brexit client state simply because cutting loose would be such a major change that it would require the kind of substantial majority that, on the evidence of the EU elections,  the Brexiters cannot amass. It is precisely to avoid this kind of impasse that nearly all other constitutions require that fundamental changes need some kind of super-majority and it seems likely that the same will prove true in the UK de facto albeit not de jure.

So, on we go. The only long term benefit that one might perhaps hope for is that the humiliation and irretrievable loss of status and influence in the world which the fatuous posturing of the faux warrior-class Brexiters has inflicted on the UK will at last accommodate the Brits themselves to their real position as a mediocre country, something advocated by the great Adam Smith in the 18th Century, and so not before time, perhaps.


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