Brexit is a “terrifying game of chicken” as the deadline nears
By Harry Caine
At the time of writing, the country is weeks away from leaving the European Union without a deal. The pressure is on to resolve this self-inflicted problem in the least damaging way possible. It is well and truly the beginning of what Alex Ferguson would call “Squeaky Bum Time.” However I don’t suspect that there’ll be wonder goals from Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solskjær to propel us to glory. Instead, this feels more like a relegation battle with ourselves, where instead of Ferguson, we have the leadership of the stubborn Theresa, and instead of looking to stay in the Premier League we are arguing over which league we wish to be relegated to.
Tenuous sporting analogies aside, the bottom line is that if renegotiations open up again May is not going to bring back significant enough assurances regarding the backstop to please the Brexiteers, and while a softer Brexit might win over the handful of the Remainer Tories, it would still need a chunk of Labour support. This support will be more likely to come the closer we get to 29 March, but the arithmetic is nowhere near there yet. It’s like a terrifying game of chicken, and my gut feeling is that the mood in parliament is so gloomy that no one is going to blink.
Not so “watered down” as we might have hoped
By Francesca Salvini
A few days after the Brexit referendum of June 2016, my Politics teacher made his own Brexit Predictions. He stood in front of a panicked and confused class of 17-year-olds and told us not to worry. His own particular prediction was that by the time the deal went through, way in the future, it would be so ‘watered down’ that it would be incredibly insignificant and not worth worrying about.
This has stuck with me throughout the last 2 years but now, I’m not so sure I agree. Warped, changed and unpredictable, yes. But ‘watered down’ is not a way I would necessarily describe what we are currently dealing with. Debates on the Irish border, calls for second referendums and massive questions regarding issues such as immigration still remain.
My teacher was right to reassure us against the ‘Armageddon’ type situation originally presented in 2016, but it definitely feels now like daunting questions with complicated outcomes loom larger than ever.
It would be unwise to make any grand predictions, but with the March date creeping ever closer I’m not sure it will be quite an insignificant change as I’d originally told myself, and been told, it would be.
Brexit opinion as divided as Moses’ parting of the red sea
By Molly Workman
The future of Brexit: that divisive, combustible topic that always seems to show up to dinner parties uninvited to ruin the tranquil ambiance.
Thus far, Parliament’s reaction to Theresa May’s Brexit proposals has been reminiscent of Moses’ command over the Red Sea: opinion has been utterly divided, causing political turmoil over the UK’s terms of departure. As this continues, the reality of a no-deal Brexit looms ever more unmistakably on the horizon as 29 March creeps around.
Without a deal, the UK will forfeit their departure transition period and suffer the termination of all EU ties, leaving citizens without guaranteed rights of residence and the ports in compromising, unstable positions.
The immediate short term could, indeed, be dire: disruption and uncertainty will hound all aspects of commerce and leisure alike, disrupting flights and altering irrecoverably the way we Brits do business with the EU. If the media is to be believed, we could be facing shortages of everything from food to blood, as well as the agglomeration of ‘putrefying piles of rubbish’. Our island could face isolation and abandonment with detrimental economic, social and political consequences, all utterly self-imposed.
And yet, in 15 years, the UK may, indeed, reap the benefits so heartily promised by the Leave Campaign.
Without EU restrictions, the UK will forge its own world trade agreements and may avoid paying the heavily contested £39 billion that the EU currently demands. Taking back control, the UK may just rebuild itself as a stronger solo power.
The truth is, not even the experts can categorically forecast the future of Brexit. In this time of uncertainty, the sole thing that remains irrefutable is that change is afoot.
Things that will not happen, but honestly who knows?
By Elizabeth Greenberg
Option 1: As a result of a no-deal Brexit, Scotland rises up. Instead of an independence referendum, however, Nicola Sturgeoun launches Operation Tattie Scone, and starts a revolution and to make the UK truly “Strong and Stable” under the leadership of Scotland. English people are, of course, demoted to second class citizens since they obviously cannot be trusted again to vote on anything of importance.
Option 2: Angela Merkle, refreshed after stepping down as Chancellor, leads a revolution, and invades the UK. This time, people are thankful, the US is too busy being ridiculous to do anything, and Germany finally invades a country that really needs to be invaded.
Option 3: Everything is… fine?
Illustration by Hannah Robinson