Get Brexit done.
Three words. A slogan for the masses. Implying a vote for Johnson and the conservatives tomorrow will somehow put the whole sorry story of Brexit firmly into the past – so we can all move on. If only it were true, or so simple. God knows, I want to hear the end of it as much as the next man.
The laughable hypocrisy of Johnson saying he “broke the deadlock” neatly overlooks the fact that he was as responsible for dithering, delaying and blocking parliament as his opposite number was. Who had the chance to get Brexit done when Cameron resigned? Boris Johnson. Who could have ensured a deal got through parliament by the 29 March deadline? Boris Johnson.
The “new deal” Johnson negotiated, which did away with the backstop (the clause that might see the whole UK stay in the EU) and replaced it with a sea border (so Northern Ireland stays in the EU instead) – is pretty much exactly what his predecessor negotiated, if not worse. There’s nothing to take credit for. But who really cares about the deal? Apart from the DUP obviously. No one. We don’t care anymore. We’ve had enough. We want it all to end.
But when will it end? When will Brexit really, truly, be ‘done’?
1st January 2021 is the first candidate date – when the transition period ends – over a year away, meaning we’ll have to put up with another 12 months of Brexit – absolute minimum. The reality is however, that any trade deal done in this time will be temporary – as the 40 years of laws created at the heart of the EU will have to be unpicked one by one and studied for their trade and social implications – and that will take years. So leaving on 1/1/21 is highly unlikely.
Whatever the case, EU law will still trump UK law on citizens rights, for EU citizens at least, until 2028. Which could well also be the actual time of the real Brexit – when trade experts believe the EU and the UK will have finally finished coming to a deal of any substance.
After that, how long will it take for the impact of leaving the EU to be experienced by your average UK voter? Given it takes the average business 2-3 years to establish itself we should be clear on that sometime into 2031 when the economics start to hit the bottom line.
People who vote for it to be ‘done’ tomorrow will most likely end up feeling they well and truly have been.
The only way to get Brexit out of our lives is to cancel it. We should vote accordingly.