Having had a return trip to Hanover this week, I thought that setting myself a challenge for the plane trip might be a good idea. Despite all the delays the time spend in the stack west of Heathrow, I could still only come up with 19 benefits of triggering Article 50, so here they are:
(1) The last General Election was in May 2015. Look at how things have changed since then. It’s not even two years ago – and yet we think that a Brexit outcome in another two years time is inevitable. It isn’t. Two years is a long time in politics.
(2) The apoplexy caused in the Leave Camp by the idea that we have to pay to leave. Of course, we don’t actually have to pay to leave, we just have to pay for what we have already signed up to – the goods we bought in the EU shop, like our part in future research programmes or contributions to pensions for the staff who have worked tirelessly to drag our economy out of the mire it was in when we joined 40 years ago (yes we were). Of course, there are some people who think we should just walk out of the shop without paying……
(3) Now we know she really means it, it helps focus our attention on what we have to do to get it overturned, as public opinion naturally continues to sway our way. And if we can’t do that, to minimise the time we are away. We will be back….
(4) Time to pop down to the biology labs to pick up some fly genes, so that you can be an inconspicuous little fly on the wall when the first round of negotiations starts – come to think of it does the UK actually have any negotiators? Last I heard they were proving hard to come by.
(5) Gosh, Guy, you mean we might be able to have a European passport, so that we can still have free movement throughout Europe and still have a job when the UK economy tanks. And we get that for our children and grandchildren too? So long UK, and thanks for all the fish…..
(6) We now know that by putting its own survival ahead of the interests of the country by appeasing UKIP and other extreme right elements, the days of the Tory party are numbered.
(7) Speaking of Tories, how good all the other female political party leaders in the UK look in comparison.
(8) As (6), but please replace “Tory” by “Labour”.
(9) Just when we thought the Lib Dems had exterminated themselves by stupidly aligning with a Tory Government and voting through tuition fees and other unspeakable things, they have been handed a surge in popularity as the only major party (apart from the SNP of course) to support a second referendum and to commit to rejoining the EU as a final resort. Which just goes to show how once again two years is a long time in politics – next stop Proportional Representation?
(10) Brexit moves Independence for Scotland a stage closer – this means that those who always wanted this will get what they want, while those who wanted to stay in the UK as part of the EU will at least get a second prize. And remember, Englanders, all you have to do to take advantage of this is to move to Scotland in time to vote in the next referendum. Then it’s the same as (4), but without the weather and with more midges. Should help the Scottish rugby team too. By the way, can we encourage the SNP to stand for election in English constituencies? I’d happily vote for them and give Scotland their independence if it meant staying in the EU. Why mess around with a few seats in Scotland when you could win a landslide?
(11) Shares in Ancestry.com will soar, as people search for Irish, Italian roots, etc etc. Good time to buy.
(12) Mr Trump has finally found a friend.
(13) Isn’t it great to see how well the German economy is doing, especially all those exports outside the EU, despite being tied down with all that Brussels bureaucracy, refugees and economic migrants…..
(14) Poland is doing really well out of its EU membership. Ties to Germany and Brexit opportunities; so many Polish immigrants to the UK may well feel that they should return home for economic reasons. This will please those who think that immigration numbers from the EU are more important than the state of our health, agriculture and construction industries, and they may get their wish after all.
(15) If you need to hold an office party, there are plenty of vacant ones available for hire in the City.
(16) Obesity is a major problem in the UK, so running out of fresh food has a silver lining.
(17) In future campaigns, we now know that we can save time and resources by not researching any detailed arguments. Lying works just as well. And it’s cheap.
(18) Just imagine the issues on which we can now hold referendums for which the will of the people must be respected…in a straight yes or no vote, with no prior analysis or costing of the implications, of course:
- Abolition of income tax
- Free petrol
- Leaving the solar system
- The extermination of rats (rodent variety)
- Refreezing the Arctic
- Give the Falkland Islands sovereignty over Argentina
- Restore Boaty McBoatFace to her former glory
- Replay England v Iceland
- Rebuid the Titanic
- Proportional Representation (I made that one up -no-one would ever seriously hold a referendum on that…Oh.)
(19) Additional visas for Commonwealth citizens instead of EU citizens will improve our cricket team (with due respect to our friends in the Netherlands who have been good enough to beat England a couple of times).
(20) …er that’s all I could come up with.