The government have launched their Brexit opening shots at Brussels with proposals for the future of the customs union relationship. From what is being said there is little in the way of detail as to how these suggested options might work which in general is fine at this stage but nevertheless needs that detail available for when the negotiators sit down across the table from each other later this month. Brussels, of course, will shrug their shoulders and say 'Non' and will likely continue with that stance until there is the pre-cursor agreement on EU citizens therights, the Irish border question and, of course, the size of the divorce bill (aka: how much the EU can screw out of us).
What occurs to me is that all this posturing and counter manoeuvring was entirely predictable once Article 50 had been invoked. So what has our government being spending its time preparing - a discussion document on the minutiae of the customs union. Brilliant ! This will be a football kicked back and forth for some time, no doubt, with the cabinet still divided on the essence of Brexit, the negotiating points and the vigour with which it is levered. In the meantime we'll have Messrs Barnier and Verhofstadt twiddling their thumbs whilst the clock continues to tick away our precious negotiating time.
And what of this growing noise from the wings about another referendum ? All these vocal politicians - past and present - angling for a second vote because they think we were all duped by the first one. Do we not pretend to be a democracy ? If this was to be suggested in France, should they ever be in the same position, there'd be a boom in guillotine manufacturing and the aged would be marshalled into gainful employment to knit 'head bags' at the foot of each - though no doubt they'd want to negotiate to keep their public holidays and be paid well above the minimum wage before serious knitting could commence. Was Brexit not Brexit ? We all knew that the EU wouldn't be a passive bystander in this unique event and that it would tie the process up in constitutional knots just to complicate the whole matter. Where is our British resolve, our ability to see a way forward and take it by the horns ? Pussyfooting around with discussion documents that the EU probably won't even read really doesn't set the proper scene for Britain. Grapple with what needs grappling with - making it conditional upon satisfactory future trading arrangements being established - and start making some meaningful progress.
On a lighter note - just to show how 'Great' Britain still is, I rejoice at the news of the tortoise fished out of the garden pond and given mouth to mouth resuscitation to bring it springing back to life. Well done, whoever you are. It certainly made me smile and continue to believe there is still hope in Britain !
North Korea seems to have taken a half-step back from the brink of nuclear Armageddon whilst elTrumpo maintains his belligerent rhetoric and ego feeding Twitter pages. A belated attempt to ameliorate the anger over the Charlottesville riots has cut no ice with most onlookers and the two incidents together paint a sorry picture of how life is unfolding in this almost Disneyesque land that is also a superpower. If this wasn't so important for the world at large it would be like watching an episode of Flash Gordon battling Ming the Merciless. Tragic.
No doubt there'll be more episodes of Trumpomania following soon.