The Brexit Tree, Episode 1

The wounds of the Brexit result are still raw at this stage. However, the initial shock has worn off. At this stage, people have realised that “yes, this is happening” and have started thinking rationally about…well, everything really: themselves, their future, the future of the country, and what the heck has actually happened.

The situation is as follows (at the time of writing at least…events are moving very fast just now):

  • David Cameron announced the result of the Brexit Referendum on Friday morning, and at the same time he handed in his resignation (effective October) and did NOT trigger Article 50 TFEU (which would have set in motion the wheels of Brexit).
  • In the wake of that, almost to a man, the main Brexit politicians started to backpedal from their promises, up to and including the fact that Britain should actually leave the EU (well, not quite, but very nearly).
  • Later on (Sunday, 26 June to be exact), Boris Johnson wrote an article setting out his idea of what the UK could look like post-Brexit. In essence, the UK would have its cake an eat it. The UK would not be limited by any EU legislation, but would be able to enjoy all the advantages of the EU anyway. It was subsequently noted by EU officials that this would not be happening.
  • As an aside, the Conservative party announced that a new leader would be chosen by the beginning of September at the latest
  • At the same time, Nicola Sturgeon, has been setting the wheels in motion for indyref2, assuring EU citizens that they are welcome in Scotland (to quote: “this is your home”), and has or will shortly be talking to the leaders of the members states of the EU with the aim of keeping Scotland in the EU.
  • Meanwhile, England (and Scotland to an extent) has seen a dramatic increase in racism-related incidents towards foreigners.
  • Finally, while the Conservative party is knee-deep in a quagmire of their own making, the Parliamentary Labour Party (i.e. Labour MPs) has for some reason decided that, instead of providing a voice of compassion, reason, and stability during a trying time, it is a perfect time to oust their leader, Jeremy Corbyn. To bring this about, some MPs have tabled a motion of no confidence. Additionally, quite a few of the members of the shadow cabinet have resigned (or will be resigning shortly). Their specific reasons vary, but the general message is this: we don’t trust you to lead us in the trying times ahead, and you are not going to put up a fight against the Conervatives (read: you don’t do the personal attack thing).
  • Of all the above, the last point is the most baffling. Or rather, it isn’t baffling at all. Rather, what is baffling is: what do the Labour rebels hope to gain? They are massively going to destabilise their leader, who won the leadership in a landslide vote. The only thing he doesn’t do is act like every other politician in parliament, i.e. he doesn’t do personal attacks, and he sounds like a thoroughly reasonable person who has actual common sense. In other words, during the Remain campaign (in one of his, admittedly, rare public appearances), he said that the EU isn’t perfect, but to fix it, we need to stay in it.

So far the state of play in a severely abridged form. Each of the above topics could merit several posts on their own, so my apologies if they are lacking in detail.

Now for the available branches at this junction of the tree. This is where it gets even more complicated, since it is currently nearly impossible to determine what the first branching point will actually be.

It is unlikely that Article 50 will be triggered any time soon. That job will be left to the new PM, who may be chosen by September. The more pertinent question is: will it ever be triggered? Based on recent news items, it is thoroughly possible that it will never be triggered at all. As one might guess, if it was never triggered, this would potentially leave to a wholly different kind of democratic can of worms being opened (vis-a-vis the populace’s wishes being ignored completely by the politicians, although that is an entirely different topic).

Another big question is whether Jeremy Corbyn will remain Labour leader? This, obviously has big repercussions for the future of the Labour party, and in particular the policies that they will adopt.

So it would seem that it is these two questions, more than anything, that will determine the first branching of the tree.

So, these are our choices:

  1. Corbyn stays+No Article 50 invocation;
  2. Corbyn goes+No Article 50 invocation;
  3. Corbyn stays+Article 50 is invoked; and
  4. Corbyn goes+Article 50 is invoked.

Which branch will ultimately prevail? I haven’t a clue. But stay tuned for my (perhaps feeble) attempts at analysis.

The Brexit Tree, Prologue

We are definitely living in interesting times just now. I think it is fair to say that there has never been a political situation as complex and as potentially disastrous in the UK since, well, Lord North lost the US or Eden played around in Suez?

The possible permutations of “what happens next” are near infinite it seems. Everything relies on everything else, and there are several big storylines that all need to be taken into account. So, I’ve decided to record the goings on from my perspective, if nothing else than for me to be able to recall in the future what I felt going through all of this.

However, rather than to present a complete narrative of all the events and possible events (which would drive me mad), I will present the situation RPG style. In other words, I will describe the current situation, and then present what I think are the most likely possibilities. In yet other words, I will present this as a branching decision tree, and I will in each post try to describe the current junction, and the available branches.

Ultimately, my guesses as to what the branches are will be just that…guesses. It is possible that the tree sprouts an unknown branch (in fact, that is quite likely). But that is going to be part of the fun.

Brexit +1

Starting a new blog the day after the result of the United Kingdom’s referendum on whether or not to stay in the EU was announced is probably not the best of ideas, particularly since the result I hoped for (Remain) was not the one the population of the UK voted for (Leave). Given the highly charged nature of the referendum, as well as the campaign that preceded it, I am unlikely to be unbiased and objective when discussing it.

Nevertheless, I felt something approaching a sense of duty to record theĀ  spirit of these times for posterity. If nothing else than for my own benefit. My memory, you see, is not quite perfect. Unfortunately.

So, amongst other things, what follows is an attempt at a series of glimpses into the world of post-Brexit Britain. And whatever else may take my fancy.

You have been warned.