Wednesday 24th August
So, two months after the Referendum, and while most people may have forgotten amidst medal-mania and heat-waves, the problems facing the Government, let alone eventually the British public, are mounting.
Article 50 has only ever been evoked by Greenland, a semi-independent territory of Denmark, the only issue was fishing rights – and it took three years to get any sort of a deal. I have been reading and watching a few programmes where even experts in International and Constitutional Law are still scratching their heads at the complexities involved. And we still have no idea of just what Britain will want our future relationship with Europe to look like, or indeed if that is either achievable or acceptable to those who voted Leave (or of course to those who voted Remain). Constitutionally almost everyone is agreed that Parliament will have to be involved and any changes to laws, which are inevitable, will have to be enacted by new laws and voted on in Parliament. And if we are in ignorance of the Governments stance (incidentally a Government elected on remaining a member of the EU) we know just as little about the Opposition’s policy towards the negotiations or indeed the referendum result.
There are indeed those who argue that as the whole process was triggered by a referendum then there must be a second referendum to approve (or not) the eventual agreement (even Tony Blair promised a referendum on any future treaty change – and what is leaving the EU if not a huge treaty change). Personally I think that as there was never a defined exit strategy by the Leave campaign, nobody was in agreement as to whether we should remain in the single market with all that involves, including free movement of people, there should be a second referendum to approve or reject whatever Mrs. May’s Government actually determines as their policy regarding the exit negotiations. If it is rejected then either she should come up with a plan B or resign. And even if the strategy is approved, then there must surely be a third referendum to approve whatever the final deal is. Pandora’s box, once opened, may prove hard to ever close again. And we haven’t even begun to consider Scotland or Northern Ireland yet.
There is also the possibility, remote as it may seem now, that at some point either before or during or immediately after the Article 50 negotiations (which incidentally may have to be approved by 27 separate countries Parliaments before becoming legally enforceable) there may be a different Government in Britain. What is to stop them halting the negotiations and either starting again, or seeking a new referendum to approve their plans, or indeed to ask the initial question again?
The more you dig the more complex it all becomes. Hahaha….did the idiots who persuaded all the other idiots to vote Leave really think it would be so simple.