With three weeks to go, Britain is unprepared for any kind of Brexit and unable to decide which way to turn, with May’s government operating under a cloak of secrecy and considering prolonging the indecision if parliament’s second vote on her Withdrawal Agreement fails next week. The endless Brexit lies have left us in an Orwellian nightmare, with some MPs receiving death threats every single day. Now new lies are doing the rounds of social media, as questionable money buys who knows what amount of under-the-radar campaigning in advance of a possible second referendum. Bookmakers, though, consider the odds of a second referendum to be worse than those of No Deal (5/1 versus 4/1 respectively), with the odds of the latter shortening.
French customs officers have shown us the immediate impact of No Deal at the borders by staging work-to-rule protests at Calais and Paris’s Gare du Nord, leading immediately to traffic jams and long queues. If trade routes really were to shut down, a hypothetical UK diet would leave a lot to be desired.
Ten percent of people in Britain are stockpiling for No Deal. In the government’s eyes, we aren’t doing enough to prepare. Planning a driving holiday in Europe after a No Deal Brexit on 29 March? You’ll need one of these. Planning to drive your UK car into the EU? You’ll need to carry one of these.
Toyota and BMW are the latest car manufacturers to warn that a No-Deal Brexit threatens their UK production, shortly after senior figures at Honda told its UK workers that robot technology to build electric cars was being delivered by boat, before the sudden announcement that the plant would close. But that decision had nothing to do with Brexit, Honda claimed, so that’s okay.
In positive news, the government has promised extra funding for neglected regions of the UK. In negative news, this “Brexit bribe” to MPs in Leave-voting regions falls far short of the EU funding those regions will lose.
Breaking point? What breaking point?
In the same way that my brother once felt an urgent need to watch Aliens on VHS the night before a big exam, Britain has spent a few days discussing knife crime just over three weeks before we potentially suffer the political crime of the century.
Which isn’t to say that knife crime isn’t an issue worth discussing. But the news bulletins of the past couple of days have almost had an air of relief about them, as news editors grab onto this “normal” news to get away from Brexit. But Brexit isn’t going away, it’s getting closer.
It’s as if the impending tsunami has drawn the water to the furthest point away from the beach, and our news editors are running around collecting shells.
From the latest thread at MetaFilter.
The EU is calling May’s bluff by offering a “unilateral exit” from the UK-wide parts of the backstop plan for Northern Ireland, which would mean that the customs union backstop applied only to NI: i.e., the border would be down the Irish Sea. Let’s not forget that it was May’s government that insisted that the backstop be UK-wide in the first place, against the EU’s preference of limiting it to the relatively small NI. Now that she’s rejected her own proposal, we’re back where we were two years ago, apart from that loud ticking noise in the background.
The DUP will still hate it, but will the ERG buy it? May’s deal promises to give them most of what they want once the transition period ends, after all. With Labour Brexiters compensating for the DUP on the floor of the Commons, might it get up?
Added by Rory on 8 March 2019.