With Theresa May’s disastrous Brexit deal set for a second historic drubbing in the House of Commons, the commentariat have been thrown into a frenzy of shrieking speculation. Tales of no deal, no Brexit, no divorce bill and no fresh fruit have reached a fever pitch as our political prognosticators share their sage insight as to what will happen next.
With all this noise and fog surrounding tomorrow, a large slice of the political class and their media buddies have completely forgotten yesterday’s lesson. They seem to have lost sight of exactly how this huge snowball of unanticipated yet wholly predictable events ever got rolling in the first place. They ignore history at their peril.
It was none other than David Cameron who pushed the rock down the mountain back in January 2013, and what’s more he did it all for party political reasons. Prior to Cameron’s fateful decision to call the Brexit referendum, dissatisfaction with the European project had been growing for years, gnawing steadily at the Tory heartlands and eventually manifesting as an existential threat from Nigel Farage’s UKIP.
Just like a toothache, Cameron knew the Europe issue would only get worse if he ignored it; so he took the bold decision to shoot the UKIP fox once and for all before it could raid any more Tory chicken coops. In doing so he set off a political tsunami which has swept us into these uncharted constitutional waters.
I can only imagine the look on Cameron’s face as it dawned on him that the British public had grabbed their only chance to regain at least some measure of democratic accountability by voting to leave the EU. If our former PM is angry at having his bluff called, he should spare a thought for the 17.4 million Leave voters who’ve been forced to endure a vicious and relentless campaign to stymie their clearly expressed decision ever since.
Understandably enraged by the establishment’s disdain for the largest democratic mandate in British history, Nigel Farage’s new Brexit Party has already eclipsed a floundering and directionless UKIP in terms of MEPs and is poised to lay waste to huge swathes of previously solid support, both red and blue, should Parliament be so foolish as to delay or negate the referendum result. Unfortunately for Theresa May and her Cabinet enablers, their continued obfuscation has not vanquished that angry army of Eurosceptics who are hungry for meaningful change. In fact they’ve only made the situation worse for themselves.
Parliamentarians can engage in all the silver-tongued shenanigans they wish as they attempt to thwart Brexit while pinning a hundred different names on their shameful betrayal. They don’t seem to have noticed the ever-expanding, radicalised and well-trained Brexit army laying low in the long grass.
If our elected officials are short-sighted enough to frustrate the Brexit process at this late stage, that army is ready, waiting and spoiling for a fight.
There will be no prisoners this time.
Images courtesy of Courtney Icenhour & Vikki Hansen at FreeImages.com