As support for the divorce from the European Union is shrinking, Brexit could be in danger and the vote that will take place on December 11, 2018 may bring unexpected surprises.
The papers for the exit have been signed by the UK and the EU and the world is waiting to see how the MP’s will vote. There are suggestions for a new referendum, others have already raised the speculation of the border assaulted by new waves of migrants in case the bill will fail.
Europe, a continent stained by never-ending centuries of bloodshed, enjoyed one of its most prolonged periods of peace. In the decades following WWII, a serious effort was made to forge political and economic entity established on the grounds of cooperation and understanding, a mutually advantageous conglomerate that grew to become the European Union. However, leveling the extremes of the continent proved a bit too ambitious. The fall of the Iron Curtain left behind countries stuck not only in different gears, but also with incompatible mindsets.
In the view of the British people, playing the EU membership card always had a big “compromise” written all over it. The benefits of belonging to a common market never quite outweighed having to open its borders for immigration, nor having to implement the ample rules and regulations developed by the bureaucrats in Brussels. On June 23, 2016, a highly controversial referendum confirmed a discontent that was brewing for years, as 52% of those showing up at the polls pushed the country in a direction that is still uncertain. Since then, a strange phenomenon took place, greeted as a success, Brexit revealed its full implications only after the experts dived into the technicalities.
In the prolonged hangover that followed, no one wanted to assume responsibility of how Brexit will take place. Prime Minister David Cameron, who used the referendum as campaign bait for undecided voters, announced his resignation on the spot. A look at Theresa May shows she was far from happy to adopt and nurse the exit all the way to Article 50. As for the United Kingdom Independence Party UKIP took a backstage from the political scene, once achieving the only target justifying its existence. Meanwhile, the leader of the opposition at the time of the vote, Jeremy Corbyn still stands accused of not putting any effort into preventing the pro-Brexit vote. The otherwise controversial politician took a vacation throughout most of the campaign, actually sabotaging the best interests of his own party, and resurfaced later to again use anti Brexit capital for political gains.
Even more interesting is how the general public gradually lost any interest in the debate and faith in the decision, once elaborating the paperwork behind the “Leave” option stretched over more than two years. If one thing is clear about Brexit, is that it confirms the saying “You can’t have your cake and eat it too.” The United Kingdom might have re-affirmed its “political insularity” in relation to the continent by putting its democracy to work, but the burden is guaranteed to be a heavy one.
The country’s economic growth is showing uncertainties surrounding the final deal. Whether it will be a Soft Brexit, or a Hard Brexit, it will still offer a sight as uncomfortable as seeing your sky dividing instructor praying before deploying the parachute.
March 29, 2019 is the deadline for the United Kingdom to leave the EU unless someone pulls the handbrake. As hard as it might seem, the bookmakers are not the only ones seeing a second referendum as an alternative. Renegotiating trade deals on your own behalf suddenly stops being fun with a strong player like Trump attacking so ferociously the status quo.
Weakened on its North Atlantic flank, the European Union faces a rise in populist parties taking over power in the vacuum left behind by the same kind of skepticism that made Brexit possible. The selfish migrant policies imposed by Germany’s soon former chancellor Angela Merkel, have greatly contributed to destabilizing the political European scene.
France’s president Macron has an approval rate of only 26%, Italy and possibly Germany (if future elections confirm the trend) are the big names next in line to question the intricate political Lego that is now united Europe.