Brexit, on the Wednesday after

17th April 2019

One measure of how odd UK politics has been recently is that is somehow strange to be in the middle of a week that does not have the prospect of the UK leaving the EU on the Friday without a deal.

Twice the UK has driven close to that cliff edge before swerving away, thanks to the patience of the EU27 offering us an extension.

We are perhaps too near to what has happened to grasp how extraordinary it is to be have been in this predicament.

A still major world economy came close twice to leaving abruptly complex legal and economic arrangements built over forty-five years without any alternative arrangements in place.

And the reason we did not crash out was the forbearance of the organisation we seek to depart and which many of our politicians and pundits have vilified and insulted.

The UK has been lucky.

Very lucky.

Twice the UK has been in a position where it was outside of our control what would happen next.

One day we will realise just how lucky we were.

But a problem with being lucky is that you can assume that the luck will hold and normalise: that you will always be lucky.

Come 31st October, there is no reason to think we will be lucky again.

Brexit may last for a long time, but ultimately it can only end in one of three ways: leaving without a deal, leaving with a deal, or revocation.

Before 31st October 2019 there is no real prospect of a new deal: the EU does not want to re-open the current deal, and the UK has not shifted its position.

The UK is unlikely to be any closer to being able to cope with leaving without a deal on 31st October, especially as “no deal planning” has been stepped down.

And so we are left with either seeking another extension, which we may not get, or facing up to revocation.

Between now and Hallowe’en the main issue in UK politics is the extent to which politicians address this hard choice of no deal, deal, or revocation.


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Twitter and blogging, an update

16th April 2019

I am having another Twitter break: I have them from time to time.

(And I often get teased for this, and rightly so, as I mention I am having a break and then something happens to get me tweeting again.)

I was going to have one last week, when the further Brexit extension was confirmed.

But then the Assange story resumed and, as it happens, I know a fair amount about that case by reason of blogging about it in 2012.

The Assange stuff, however, should now be quiet for a short period, while the Swedish prosecutor decides on whether to revive the case given that Assange is again available.

I also now have this new blog to play around with, and I would like to post more here. I think I am tired of tweeting (and Twitter tells me I have been on there some ten years, which is scary).

I realise, of course, that posts on here will not get as much circulation as tweets which “go viral” – but, frankly, that may not be a bad thing. You can get into a rut with anything, and perhaps it is time to do more long-form writing on here and elsewhere.

If something genuinely significant happens I will go back on Twitter. But I am bored of tweets, for now, and the atmosphere on there is often unpleasant. People can be so nasty with such ease.

So this post is just a marker of intent: not every post has to be earnest and an event!


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