Brexit is dead.

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Originally posted 2016-07-22 12:20:01.

Last month the UK voted to ‘Brexit’. It will never happen. Here’s why.

Tweet: A month ago, the UK went to the polls and voted to leave the European Union. Today, #Brexit is dead. What happened?

The reality that Brexit could not be delivered became apparent even in the hours after the result. Why did David Cameron, the then Prime Minister, resign? He didn’t have to. He had fought a solid campaign and had been honourably beaten. He had said that he would not resign whatever the result.

Cameron probably realised that he could not deliver the result that had been asked for. His departure was the first indication that Brexit was already on life support.

For a while there was some hope of it being revived, temporarily at least. Would a Brexiteer become Prime Minister? Had Johnson taken the crown of the Tory Party, he certainly would have begun the motions.

The Extablishment Strikes back

Meantime, the Establishment came charging into the fray, in the form of high-powered legal challenges to the Government. This before, mark you, the Government had said a cheep and was still circling aimlessly, its rudder torpedoed out. It was made very clear within a matter of hours, by senior QCs, that the Government did not have the right to ‘trigger’ Clause 50, which would be the beginning of formal exit negotiations. Instead it would require a vote in Parliament.

The Government countered, feebly, with Royal Prerogative, but they had to do that, didn’t they? The cases now being laid before the Court will be appealed to the highest level.

The more practical reasons why Brexit is dead, however, are political and not constitutional. The principal one is that Brexit, as portrayed by the ‘Leave’ Campaign, is a chimera. It can’t be delivered.

Well, it could be, but the result would be catastrophic for the UK. Now here’s a thing. The Prime Minister of the UK is not charged with respecting the opinions of the masses. She or he is charged with protecting the interests of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. It would be wise to remember that.

Realpolitik means that Brexit is dead.

Furthermore, there is a thing called Realpolitik. It got the slavering hounds of Brexit their referendum, but now it has ensured that the result will be ignored. Brexit is dead and it’s not doing a Lazarus.

We did wait with some apprehension for the result of the Tory party’s leadership poll. Early on, DumBo was stabbed in the back by his mate Michael Gove, which ended his challenge — and at the same time, Gove’s. The Tories are a ruthless bunch but they do not like to see the Machiavellian stuff done so publicly. By blatantly betraying his friend, Gove outraged the party and ensured that his own challenge was also dead. Such was his meteoric career — like all meteors, it crashed and burned.

The thinking pundit’s choice was now on two candidates, both women: Andrea Leadsom and Theresa May. Leadsom is a rabid Eurosceptic and May a thoughtful Europhile. Had Leadsom been elected, the Tory Party would have given a clear signal that it intended for Brexit to happen. She wasn’t.

Instead, they elected Theresa May. At that point right there, they pulled the plug on Brexit’s life-support.

Punt it into the long grass.

Brexit is dead. It will never happen. The first thing that May will do — and she has already begun — is to kick the whole thing as deep into the long grass as she can.

No Brexit before 2016, she has already promised. Note: not ‘Brexit will be in 2016’. The punt is high and powerful, but it would not do, just yet, to allow the rabid hordes of Little Englanders to know that their cunning plan had just been shot in the head.

No, Ms May must buy time.

The first people she needed onside were François Hollande, President of France, and Andrea Merkel, Chancellor of Germany, so she met them. These were secret meetings but they came out with very similar pronouncements: there will be no concessions on freedom of movement, for the UK to remain in the Single Market.

That means that what Gove, Farage and DumBo promised is a non-starter. It presents May with a choice that suits her very well — you either leave the Single Market and switch off your economy, because your banks and financial services are going to be kicked out, or you dump the principal demand of the Brexiteer xenophobes — stop freedom of movement.

The big stick.

Ms May now has the British legal establishment pointing a diamond-encrusted Colt at her skull. She also has the banking and financial sector — responsible for 11% of all UK tax revenue — standing behind it with a nail-studded baseball  bat, just in case the legal eagles do a Pulp Fiction and miss.

So immigration — or rather, freedom of movement for EU citizens — is off the table. We are therefore left with Brexit Light, in which the UK has to do everything Brussels tells it, or commit financial, political and diplomatic hari-kiri. And not a word would we be able to say to change anything. No influence.

This plays right into Ms May’s hands. You can bet the meetings in Paris and Berlin were amicable. They gave her the stick she needs to beat the swivelly-eyed Eurosceptics, and she will use it.

When May was elected leader, it was all up for Brexit.

Over 50% of May’s own MPs are Europhile. They didn’t elect her to make them look like a bunch of clowns. They elected her to make the Eurosceptics look like a bunch of clowns. Which she is doing very well at the moment.

As we pointed out before, a UK Prime Minister has to act in the interests of the UK, not abide by the opinion of a bunch of racist, misinformed, semi-literate gibbons, which is what the English Brexiteers have shown themselves to be. Actually I suspect gibbons would be more cultured.

At some point in the future, May will announce that no deal that could possibly be regarded as being in the UK’s interest is possible. It will therefore be her solemn duty to tell the English xenophobes that they have had their chips: there will be no Brexit.

Conciliatory noises.

Oh, she has to make conciliatory noises for a wee while, but that will pass. She has a working majority, larger than the one Thatcher enjoyed in her first term. And she knows she can rely on the Europhilic Labour, Liberal and SNP MPs on this one anyway, in addition to the majority of her own. If push came to shove and the rabid, knuckle-dragging Eurosceptics were to stage a revolt, they would be defeated. They know that. They shot their bolt. Brexit is dead.

Oh, the Express and the Mail and the Sun and even the Telegraph will howl and squeal. No doubt Rupe the cunt Murdoch will do some classically Ozzie whingeing about how dare an elected Prime Minister of the UK defy an arse from the outback. But they just got royally shafted.

They threw all the tattered reputation they had left at getting the result Rupe wanted, and now it’s going to be ignored. And you know what? The sky will not fall in on our heads. What price the power of press barons, now, Rupe? Oh, how the mighty are fallen.

Winning Elections.

The Tories have never cared a fiddlers for public opinion, they only care about winning elections. How much chance of winning the next one do you think they might have, if it is immediately preceded by an economic catastrophe and the end of the UK? Gosh even Corbyn could win that one. And the Tories are not stupid, May possibly least of all: she knows this fine well.

If Brexit is not completed by 2020, then the incoming government will almost certainly have won on a promise of not doing so. So, since we can now be sure that it will not happen before 2020, it will not happen at all. It’s just a question of when will be the most politically propitious moment for May to announce that Brexit is dead.

By then the English may possibly have come to their senses and realised that referendums are a bad idea, because they make stupid people think that their opinions matter. They don’t. Their votes matter, but not their opinions.

Brexit is dead. Democracy is not.

What you are witnessing is how a mature democracy deals with populism and demagoguery. If she plays her hand out with the skill that she certainly has, Theresa May will go down in history as the woman who not only saved the UK’s economy, but the UK itself.

The result of that, dear friends, will be another guaranteed 20 years in power for her party, the Tories. Ms May has a lot to live up to; she is only the second woman Prime Minister of the UK and look who the first was — love her or hate her, Thatcher is a legend. May has every intention of also being one. She wants to be remembered as a great Parliamentarian in the tradition of Gladstone, Disraeli, Lloyd George and Thatcher. And she has the ability and the ruthlessness to do it.


The alternative is to be the Prime Minister who ruined the UK’s economy, oversaw the departure of Scotland and Northern Ireland and condemned her party to possibly decades in Opposition. Do you really think she will avoid the Realpolitik? It’s absurd. The political rewards of letting Brexit die are just too great

At the same time, the Tory Party’s Eurosceptic tendency will be sent, bawling and sucking their thumbs, off to the nursery. That’s where they languished through the 1980s and 90s, and once again, nobody will care what they say. They will be told, ‘You had your referendum. Look at the mess it got us in. Now go to bed and stay there. We’ll call you to vote when we need lobby-fodder.’

And with a bit of luck, the UK will stop having referendums. They are a very bad idea and we should not indulge them.

Brexit is dead. In fact it’s humming already.

See today’s update HERE

9 Replies to “Brexit is dead.”

  1. She also has a great opportunity, by inviting Scotland and Northern Ireland to take a major part in the exit fiasco, to un-Brexit and blame the Scots and the Irish Republicans, in particular the SNP. The UK/MSM/BBC spin machine then kicks into action and puts the Scottish Indy movement back a decade, Ireland’s reunification also gets the old heave ho. Enter Saint Teresa May, the saviour of the universe. I’m glad I live in France now, but it doesn’t stop me screaming at the deviousness of the U.K. Government and the (I’d better say ‘alleged’) gullibility of the voting public. Nice piece Rod.

    1. Hi Maurice, thanks for the input, with which I agree. I have been saying for some time that those who desire Scottish Independence (and I am one) should not pin their hopes on a Brexit. Those minded to independence have to build a popular majority that is big enough to be convincing and reliable.I personally think 55% for independence over an 18-month period is the lowest we can work with. I am pretty sure Sturgeon and May both hold similar positions. It is vital that Sturgeon not be bounced into precipitous behaviour over this.

      By the way, you can only defame named, living individuals. Groups you can call anything you like.

      1. I think your article, possibly has some merit. What I don’t understand, is your wish to remain within the E.U. but seperate from the U.K. Surely, 70 percent of your trade is within the U.K. Whereas, less than 20 percent is with the rest of Europe.

        1. Thank you for your comment, Richard. Well, I will be writing more about this is the light of more recent events, but essentially the issue throughout, for me, as been of sovereignty. The Brexiter argument that sovereignty had been completely removed from the UK and transferred to Brussels is clearly a lie; on every issue, the UK has a vote and on important ones, it must agree or the proposal falls.

          My country voted clearly against leaving the EU, yet its views will not even be considered by the imperial English establishment residing in Westminster. That is totally unacceptable. The English Empire is dead and gone and if the UK is to have a future — which I do not believe it does — then England must accept a federal arrangement with Scotland. Frankly, I think that the imbalance in populations makes such an arrangement unworkable and so the dissolution of the UK is the only remaining option.

          1. I think sovereignty, is an important question, in both Scotland and Brexit. I don’t understand how the establishment in Westminster could take Scotland’s views anymore into account, and still follow the majority of the U.K’s. And, if Scotland was not part of the U.K. yet part of the E.U. wouldn’t it be then relying on the Bruxelles establishment, where its views would have even less weight, than now?

          2. Exactly, and QED; the imbalance of population between Scotland and England means that no unitary state, whether federal or otherwise, could work democratically, unless England were to be broken up into regions. This has consistently been opposed by the English. The UK is ruled by English diktat and so Scotland is governed by an imperialist, colonialist body residing in a foreign country. That is obviously unacceptable.

            As regards Scotland in the EU, here it would be protected by many provisions enshrined in the treaty structure of Europe. In cases where a unanimity were required, it could veto legislation. This actually applies to all major legislation, including trade deals, expansion of the EU’s remit, internal treaty revision etc. In cases where Qualified Majority voting is required, in fact the smaller nations, acting in consort, have more power than the large ones. There are many smaller nations than Scotland in the EU and many others of similar size or only slightly larger; they use its rules effectively. The EU is specifically set up to protect the interests of smaller nations against larger ones; Scotland would benefit in a way that it never could in the UK. (Note: the EU, not the Euro; that is something quite different.)

            In the UK, no such possibilities exist. While the 1707 Articles of Union clearly state that Scotland and England are equal partners, this has never been honoured by the English. They appear to think that it is their right to force their will on others. This was of course, the basis of the British Project, to make the world England; it gave us the ’empire on which the sun never set’. Well, it did set. There is no moral or democratic case for allowing the gross abuse inherent in the UK to continue, nor is there any purpose, other than to allow England access to Scotland’s resources, without paying for them.

            You might like to see here for more:

  2. I don’t agree that we should cease to conduct referendums. Referendums have the potential to be hugely beneficial to our democratic process, but we need to put right this ignorant misconception in the public’s consciousness that they are somehow the end of discussion on any political subject, and must be obeyed by Parliament at all costs.

    With a lack of PR (resulting in an unpopular government elected by less than a quarter of the public vote) and an entirely unelected second chamber, is it any wonder that so many people feel out of touch with democracy? It is certainly the case that our democracy is (and, in my view, ought to remain) a representative one. But it also ought to be more representative.

    I am still in shock from the referendum outcome, but looking back it is not all too difficult to see why so many people (however ignorantly) voted for Brexit. We need to face the fact that we have serious problems with political education and engagement (or indeed the lack thereof), the nature and design of ‘safe seats’, and an electoral system that breeds apathy. The last two general elections have demonstrated the profound incompatibility of our electoral system with Britain’s modern political makeup. The Tories are out of touch, and Labour has – despite the Third-Way experiment – ultimately failed to reconcile democratic socialists and social democrats.

    One of the problems with the EU referendum is that, unlike most other civilised Western democracies, major constitutional changes in Britain do not require a ‘supermajority’, or indeed anything more than the ‘sovereignty of Parliament’ (which typically reflects little more than the will of the government of the day). This needs to change, but the means by which that might happen may likely involve the use of a referendum or two. Major constitutional changes (undertaken by a representative Parliament) need legitimacy, and the electorate can provide this where there is a supermajority (e.g. 60% or 70% with a high turnout). If we are ever to have electoral reform (which, if we continue to have coalitions/narrow majorities and split parties, may not be before long), or perhaps a codified constitution, referenda will be crucial.

    Another problem with referendums can be the broad nature of the question. Asking the electorate simply whether they wanted the UK to remain in or leave the EU was not especially helpful, as the terms on which the UK might leave were not made clear, are still not clear, and are likely to remain ambiguous for years to come, amidst disagreement not only across party lines, but within the Brexiters’ own parties as well. The narrow result for Brexit thus loses legitimacy when it cannot show what it was that Brexit voters actually wanted. Many undoubtedly voted for ‘Lexit’, and might object to hypercapitalism, TTIP and free trade far more than immigration, whilst some inevitably voted for a Brexit that would ‘take back our borders’ (whatever that means…) but keep us trading as usual. Watching BBC South Today (I don’t know what I was thinking) a short while ago, one woman in Gosport thought it meant Nigel Farage would become Prime Minister, and was very upset to see Theresa May in the role.

    Why not follow the Irish and put very specific legal questions to the electorate? If we had done this in June, it would not only have been a more legitimate exercise in democracy, but I also suspect it would have stopped Brexit in its tracks. Fundamental divisions (e.g. Lexit vs Rexit) and conflicts between Brexiteers’ referendum demands (e.g. some wanting less migration and the same trade relationship; some wanting less capitalism but more net migration; some wanting less net migration but more immigration from outside the EU; some desiring less capitalism and less migration; the list goes on) would have demonstrated the lack of agreement and the illegitimacy of pursuing a particular Brexit agenda without majority support for that particular agenda. Instead, the message we chose to receive is only that 52% of those who voted want the UK to ‘leave’ the EU.

    This is why many are arguing that we ought to have a second referendum once the negotiating position has been made clearer, to ratify the suggested terms of agreement for Brexit. If 50%+ of the electorate votes against the Brexit terms (which may boil down to free movement, free trade, and yet no influence over EU law and policy), then that is all the government will need to declare that Brexit is an impossible pursuit that the nation cannot democratically agree upon and therefore it cannot be implemented. You might just find that it proves to be another referendum (to ratify Brexit; rather than a second attempt at the first) that gets us out of this mess.

  3. Mr. Fleming,
    You speak as a remainer.
    With the absolute confidence of a drunken man with one foot in the grave and the other hooked round a daisy. You blithely imagine that you know it all, my fear is that you know bugger all.
    EU sells it’s cars and products to UK in a volume exceeding UK sales to the EU by 100% – double, twice as much.
    Now if you are Europe and I am UK and we are negotiating, and I offer you a tariff free deal on all products in return for allowing my goods into Europe tariff free, but you refuse, Mercedes and BMW. et al would howl from the roof tops so loudly that a swift reversal of your commercial stupidity would be implimented. Failing that a swiftish breakup of the EU.
    Enjoy your breakfast.

    1. I speak as a Scot. Your country voted to leave the EU, mine voted to stay. I couldn’t care less what England or the English do, believe me. If it, carrying you, sinks irreversibly into a morass of nasty introspection, racism and xenophobia, then all I will say is ‘I told you so.’ All I want is for you to piss off somewhere else, because you have outlived your welcome — anywhere, a far as I can see.

      On the material point, Mercedes and BMW will not be asked, any more than Nissan was.

      Other than that, I recommend that you work a little harder at your English language skills.

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