Sometime ago I said that one of the few upsides to Brexit would be the departure of Mr Anarchy himself who has happily been collecting his MEP salary for the last 20 years while doing precisely nothing to warrant it (besides campaigning for re-election every few years.)
Mr Farridge (note the the Anglicised spelling of a poncey foreign-sounding name) has been a waste on resources and a waste of European tax-payers money for two decades. No more. Indeed, another benefit for we Strasbourgeois is that there is now a much reduced chance of running into old gobby in the street, cycling through his cigar smoke or having to put up with his loud narcissism in a restaurant or bar. Yay!
The other upsides to Brexit include… er, well I can’t think of any right now. Perhaps we’ll know in about ten years time what benefits it has brought to the UK and EU.
Maybe it’s time for a few predictions? Looking back at 2017 when I wrote this post – I wasn’t far off what was to befall in the Brexit negotiations.
I said the Pound was unlikely to drop further (it was at 1.15€ to the pound, it is now 1.18€). I reckoned that Freedom of movement would end and that the shit-storm that would, and did, unfold in the UK would discourage other populist movements from espousing leaving the EU. I was right on both counts there too. My other prediction will need more time to see through, but the nationalists in Northern Ireland are probably secretly pleased that Johnson threw Ulster under the bus to get out of the ‘Backstop.’ It can only be a matter of time before NI politicians start seriously talking about a border vote. Scotland is another kettle of fish – I can’t see Westminster supporting any second referendum in the next 5 years. Any attempt by the SNP to do a “Catalonia” will probably result in the same outcomes.
So what else might the future hold?
EU trade negotiations
Despite BoJo’s assurances – these will carry on for a good 5-10 years, if not longer. While there may well be an interim agreement in place for the end of the transition period, it will be nothing more than a holding pattern while the negotiators get into the nitty-gritty of any future relationship. Whatever the outcome, as has been said a million times before, it will be nowhere as good as with membership of the bloc.
Hasty deal with USA
While NHS will not be sold off to American companies – just about every peripheral aspect of healthcare in the UK will be offered up to the land of gun ownership, with insurance and medicines top of the list. Once the PFI problem comes home to roost – the Americans will be offered the chance to acquire entire hospitals at knock down prices (you can thank Tony Blair for that one.) So, in 10 years time the NHS will equate to the staff and services – but the infrastructure will almost entirely be in private hands and healthcare will be run for a profit. And, despite assurances to the contrary, chlorinated chicken and other low-grade American foodstuffs will make it into the UK food chain.
The UK economy
In the short term nothing much will change, but as the new relationship with the EU slowly becomes clearer we’ll see a mid to long term trend of decline. The UK government will do it’s best to try to prop things up using tax breaks and deregulation, however these will likely result in economic sanctions from the EU. The pound will start to waver around parity with the Euro and dollar in about 5 years time as the movement of capital out of the UK picks up. Ireland will be the main beneficiary.
The dumb decision to vote for Brexit will come home to roost for the Welsh and they’ll soon realise that leaving the EU has resulted in a drop in living standards. Welsh Nationalism will start to grow in the same way we have seen in Scotland. People start talking about an independence referendum.
Alas, her Maj will pass away. Charles will take her place, possibly. Perhaps it will go straight to Wills? In any case the nation will mourn her passing and the Elizabethan period as the UK’s greatest of heydays. People will think back to Cool Britannia, the Golden Jubilee and Freedom of movement and remember the good old days when we were part of the EU… and maybe we should consider rejoining it?
Well, there we are. For better or worse, the first stage of Brexit has come to an end. It’s time to sit back and watch the Anarchy in the UK unfold.