Has the dust settled or is there more stormy stuff ahead ? Unfortunately, it looks like the latter and BB is going to have a little rant !
Seeing Mrs May emerging like some Old Testament prophet out of No.10 last night and then making the extraordinary claim that she had a new mandate from parliament made Bristling Brock's eyebrow twitching go into overdrive. On Tuesday, she lost her Withdrawal Agreement vote by a margin nobody ever imagined conceivable without even a glimmer of recognition by Mrs May as to what this signalled to the population of the UK and to the outside world; yet the following day she survives a confidence vote in her government by the slenderest of margins (more to do with tactical voting to keep Corbyn out than loyalty, BB suspects) and immediately claims a new mandate. More than extraordinary, it is downright astounding that she has the utter arrogance to make that statement. Then - more extreme eyebrow twitching still occurring - Mrs May makes the further statement, in all seriousness, that's it's now time for all the political parties to come around the table to brainstorm the future before 29th March. My goodness, what a brilliant idea ! Unfortunately, the rest of us thought this should have been the strategy as soon as the Brexit referendum vote was declared in June, 2016. Now, thirty months later, with only a handful of weeks to departure date left, this is now the grand plan. The word 'plan' is used with some misgiving as it is very clear that there never was a Plan B nor was there any attempt to garner a parliamentary consensus on the strategy being adopted by Mrs May and her lackey government. The concept of 'no deal' has had lip-service paid to it but we all know now that every sinew of government and parliament is working to block any such possibility.
It is hard to find words that describe this utter failure of government adequately. It almost conjures up the thought that some Machiavellian plot has been played out in front of us that was ever designed to undermine and corrupt the essence of the referendum vote. It is King John, reluctantly and sourly, being forced by his nobles to recognise that his governance has been utter dung and that change at an eleventh hour moment is mandatory (in his case, a very short period - he snuffed it the following year...). The tragedy is that Bristling Brock cannot fully dispel such a possibility from the present equation - it could be just sheer incompetence or it could actually be Signor Machiavelli at work. Maybe in thirty or so years, those of us still breathing may actually find out. The net outcome, of course, is that nobody knows what the next meaningful actions are going to be, but if we were to believe those pundits with a cynical eye on affairs we would likely see a rejection of a no-deal strategy, a probable request to extend Article 50 indefinitely or a second referendum with some carefully crafted options on the ballot paper - none of which would represent the proper or meaningful delivery of the first referendum's vote to fully leave the EU.
The so called arguments that warn us of the perils of no deal tell us repeatedly that there would be economic chaos, a crash of the stock market, unthinkable rises in unemployment and widespread poverty. In actuality, none of these perpetrators of doom know what would happen. They have no facts, they have no precedents, they have no economic, political or social evidence that such a downturn would occur. They are, in fact, doing no more than preaching a creed that supports their own vested interest of staying in the EU. On that theme we could flip the argument and ask whether anyone truly believes the EU is actually going to survive - not because of Britain potentially leaving - but because the cohesion of thinking across 27 member states has failed to adapt and embrace the differing cultural, social and economic positions of such a diverse group of nations. It is a monolith with huge imbalance, an entity that has three or four net contributors and 20 + net takers. No economic model ever devised could visualise the survival of such a skewed mechanism of so-called unity, security and common purpose. They claim they have kept the peace in Europe - bunkum - they failed to intervene in any way in Yugoslavia, they have failed Greece (with quite a bit of help from the Greeks themselves), they have failed the Baltic states facing Russia and - most importantly, they have failed the economic drivers of the EU - Germany and Britain. Add to this a growing right-wing drift across Europe's political spectrum and you might just think that it is possibly no longer the mythical Golden Goose you might have imagined.
Now do you really want to stay in the EU ? It may happen out of utter incompetence, but that should never be the basis of our nations thinking. No deal is by no means ideal - we should have had a properly negotiated trade deal by now - but it may become the battleground of philosophies if we continue down this current, slippery slope. BB suspects, however, that Mr Machiavelli might win the day.