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Keep calm – but, let’s not carry on with Brexit

Keep calm – but, let’s not carry on with Brexit

Every day we wake up in the City of London and Brexit is still there. Like a bad dream that we just can’t escape. A nightmare for those who voted ‘no’ and for those in favour of leaving. Brexit has grown immovable, turned into a real monster, unfathomable and seemingly endless. A curse for UK citizens, whose suffering is aggravated as the 29th of March approaches.

The European Union (EU) has taken its time to reply and in the UK, without having the accounts of the divorce, we are already dragging an important deficit. According to Mark Carney, Governor of Bank of England, at the end of 2017 there was a loss of production for the British economy, which added up to a near forty thousand million.
Carolyn Fairbairn, the director of the CBI (Confederation of British Industry’s) commented: “Although it is not for us to attack or defend Brexit, we note that Britain needs access to the single market and the customs union.”

In terms of customs agreements, third countries are also not responding to the pretensions of the UK. The uncertainty that comes with leaving the common framework does not create a sense of calm.
Perhaps May got a bit ahead of herself with the support received from Brexiters and did not properly measure the true size of the place that the UK occupies. First, she came face to face with Trump’s US and then, a silent visit to Xi Jinping’s China, the most talked about news was how she and her husband drank the same kind of tea at home that the Chinese president served them. Gary Younge exposes this in The Guardian: Britain’s imperial fantasies have given us Brexit.

Back home, in Westminster, the House of Lords has shown his rejection towards the Law project (of withdrawal) of the EU, or Brexit Bill, approved by the Commons.
The Baronesses and the Lords consider that this Law translates badly and soon 40 years of Community Stock. The assessment of Baroness Taylor, president of the constitutional committee of the Upper House, described the bill as “fundamentally flawed […] in multiple ways.”

The public opinion seems to have it clear and the media seem to be doing a conscience examination: Will Brexit actually be produced at some point? Is it possible/legitimate to change your mind post-referendum? Could the British, in definitive, go back in time? The people of Northern Ireland are also in disagreement, it has hardly been 20 years since the Good Friday agreement.

If the Brexiters overestimated the possibilities of reaching the commercial agreements with third countries, they also overestimated the European Union, which is not facilitating the “club exit”. Europe tightens and fixed strict conditions, perhaps with the hope that the UK will reject them and decides to stay in the Union.

The months pass by and the House of Lords continue to process the “Great law of the exit from Europe”. There we can see that the pro-European Lordships (who are a majority in it) are proposing amendment after amendment. Without doubt, a new and hard hit on what is clearly a very unorganised exit.

And these days, with the public opinion exhausted on the question of Brexit, the Liberal Nick Clegg new book seems very pertinent: How To Stop Brexit (And Make Britain Great Again).

Perhaps it is not late; or, at least, not too late. Perhaps the problem can be reversed and we can avoid further social and economic rupture for the following generations. For now, without being able to foresee anything different, we will continue to open our eyes in the city of London to discover that the monster is still there.

Leon Fernando del Canto, Barrister at Lincoln’s Inn, London, assessor at Del Canto Chambers in international Law.

El País

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