According to Ken Clarke, the Father of the House of Commons, “The ordinary rules of conventional politics cannot be applied to the last two-and-a-half, three years of Brexit politics.”
Winston Churchill, the legendary prime minister of the UK, took the view that every time we have to decide between Europe and open sea, it is always the open sea. The repercussions of such thoughts never dawned upon him but now it seems that the chickens have finally come home to roost with only 20 days remaining until Brexit day. The clock is ticking. The idea of Brexit, which is in fact driven by a hatred of foreigners and a false sense of superiority among the racist natives of England, is a vicious cycle. Be it a deal or no-deal, to compensate for the losses will be Gordian knot for the UK government but Theresa May is adamant that the UK can walk the walk without a deal despite the fact that Parliament is opposed to the UK crashing out of the EU. One should have an idea of the events in the decades which led to Brexit. Prior to its entry to the European Community in 1972, in the 1960s majority of the people in Britain had manual jobs and not more than one-tenth of the voters took university education.
But, in the 21st century a large number of people in the working class plummeted by becoming financially better off and majority of those people became a part of middle class citizens. Notably, overtime more than 30 percent of the electorates possessed university degrees from the middle class. Overall, this changed the demography of the Conservative and Labour party. The Labour Party always won elections in the past due to constant support of working class. Since 1997 Tony Blair had a centre approach (a third way) and he did not take seriously the fact that working class was responsible for always bringing his party into power. Those people had issues which could have been sorted out by either Tony Blair or David Cameron. But the working class was stranded by both and divisive liars like Nigel Farage took the opportunity to divide the UK and stir up mass racism against immigrants from Europe who can enter the UK without limits because of the magical law of free movement in Europe.
In my view, UK’s population still has majority of the white working class who easily fell prey to the false propaganda. The false propaganda was launched by people trying to destabilize UK. For example, Aaron Banks who received funding of millions of pounds from unbeknownst sources to fan the idea of Brexit. Even the former foreign secretary Boris Johnson claimed that if UK ceases paying money to Brussels, it would generate £350 million per week for the National Health Service.
Farage and UKIP also lied that 70 million Turkish citizens would enter UK and snatch away the jobs and harass women, in case UK remains a part of EU. Even Michael Gove (who was in cabinet then and is the environment secretary now) publicized this pseudo news about Turkish Muslims. The campaigning was done via normal channels and indeed social media as well. Russians tried to mingle in the promotion of Brexit as well. The notion of a divided European Union soothes Russia.
Those targeted through media were majorly of old age, less educated, less prosperous. Haplessly, they were the ones to vote for Brexit in 2016.
Now, let us talk about what misfortune the people had to go through both in UK and in other EU countries after the announcement of Brexit.
Nissan has renounced the manufacturing of its renowned X-trail vehicle from UK. The Japanese company employs 30,000 workers in UK-the future of those employees is at stake.
Additionally, 50 chemical businesses have shifted to EU from UK to cater to their European customers. Rentokil initial, Brenntag, Cargil are amongst those 50 names.
Honda has shut its plant located at Swindon, England. The company took this move because very recently EU and Japan signed an agreement according to which all the vehicles imported from Japan to Europe will be tariff-free. This raises a question on the insusceptibility of Theresa May’s government as to why was it not able to provide such an option to Honda? The government was already aware of the fact that Sony and Panasonic had already set pace by locating their headquarters to EU.
Furthermore, the Bank of England has decided to offer a loan on a weekly basis in the month of March and April to ease financial shortfall. This is again not a good sign because the global recession in 2007 was brought about due to the lending burgeoned by banks in USA to a great extent, in the long run those banks did not have enough cash flow to match the credit.
Moreover, the rapturing of the ‘Good Friday Agreement’ (which ensures peace in Norther Ireland) and the creation of hard borders between Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland will put the economy of both the countries in doldrums. Since, the Good Friday Agreement was brought into existence the people on both sides of the border enjoyed the business relations.
Another story of Brexit is being considered by very few people. This is about human rights. There are 3.8 million Europeans residing in UK and 1 million expatriates from UK are dwelling in EU member states. Many of the British expatriates in Europe have initiated their application for their passports because they cannot carry a dual nationality in countries like France, Germany and Spain.
It is the Human Rights Act 1998 that brings forth the rights and freedom from the European Convention on human rights and converts it into UK law. Withdrawal from the UK will snatch the core laws of European Union which protect the people from discrimination. Can people in UK fight for their fundamental rights in their courts in future? This is a question.
There would be an issue of extradition as well. In European Union, the system of European Arrest Warrant (EAW) is followed, which started during 2004. Since, the countries in EU abide by the principle of mutual recognition so, with the help of European Arrest Warrant (EAW) the time is saved of European countries. The court of law of England and Wales will consider the ruling of Spanish court of law as its own. The same is the case with all the other members of EU. After Brexit the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice will come to an end in UK (albeit after eight years). Germany has said that it will not operate the EAW with the UK after Brexit.
When you look into these facts, you can form an opinion that Brexit is a mistake. Experts may say that things will be better-off in the long-run. But, the side-effects in the short-run are blood curdling. This is the reason that Emergency Food Shortage has started selling a package consisting of necessary food items and equipment to give a hand to the people in case of dearth of food. One of the earlier proponents of Brexit like Jim Ratcliffe is relocating to Monaco to save his 21 billion pounds but, can the rest of UK’s population do the same? The financial standing of Britain will not be as good as before after Brexit. But, according to Ken Clarke, “The ordinary rules of conventional politics cannot be applied to the last two-and-a-half, three years of Brexit politics.” The situation has been topsy-turvy for the government and will continue to be this way.
The author, Arsal Ahmed Shaikh, is an intern at the PIIA.
Archil Chochia, David Ramior Troitino, Tanel Kerikmae et al., Brexit: History, Reasoning and Perspectives (Switzerland: Springer International Pulishing, 2018), p. v
Carlton Reid, ‘Brexit Blamed For Nissan Pulling Manufacture Of X-Trail From U.K.’, 2 February 2019, www.forbes.com
Anca Gurzu, ‘Airbus warns of ‘catastrophic’ no-deal Brexit’, 17 February 2019, www.politico.eu
Simon Jack,‘Honda: Is Japan losing faith in the UK?’, 18 February 2019, www.bbc.com
Matthew J. Goodwin,‘Brexit: Causes & Consequences’, JEF, November/December 2017, p.59-62.
https://www.libertyhumanrights.org.uk/human-rights/what-are-human-rights, accessed 28 February 2019.
Benjamin Ward, ‘Brexit Uncertainty Risks UK Rights’, 15 January 2019, www.hrw.org
Benjamin Ward, ‘What Would A ‘No Deal’ Brexit Mean For Human Rights?’, 17 October 2018, www.hrw.org
Mark Ellis, ‘Rome Interviews: Ken Clarke’, IBA, Vol. 72, No. 6. December 2018/January2019, p.33