Saturday, 30 December 2017

“Brexit will be a titanic success” (Official)

In this relative hiatus between Christmas and the New Year, I was musing on subjects other than planning law for a change. Yes, Brexit is set to loom large in 2018.

Captain May is determined to steer the ship of state straight towards the US of A in record time and refuses to change course or to slow down as we enter the ice field. Unfortunately, quite a few of the captain’s previous navigational decisions have proved to be disastrous, which makes any further change of course unlikely. So it seems that we are set on an unalterable course, unless the Captain is relieved of command (which now seems improbable). Unlike other ships in the past, we know we are heading straight for a huge iceberg. We even know the precise time at which we are going to hit it – 11 p.m. on the evening of Friday, 29th March 2019.

But the Entertainments Officer, Dave Davies (the “Cheeky Chappy”) is confident that he can negotiate with the iceberg, and hopes that he may even persuade it to melt before we reach it. Meanwhile, Captain May has greatly boosted the morale of the crew by deciding that the deckchairs on the promenade deck, which are currently painted in a tasteful shade of burgundy, will be repainted dark blue, starting on the evening of 29 March 2019. This encouraging change will surely take the minds of the passengers off the fact that, as midnight approaches on that day, the ship will be starting to go down by the bows.

Third Officer Johnson, who is in charge of wireless communications with other shipping (if only he could get his W/T procedure right, and avoid sending inappropriate and irritating messages to other ships) has confidently asserted his belief that Brexit will be “a titanic success”. And so as we sail on into 2018, we have Third Officer Johnson’s firm assurance to comfort us. Brexit will indeed be a TITANIC success!

Unless President Trump starts World War 3 during the course of the year, I hope we can in fact look forward to a reasonably Happy New Year in 2018. (It is 2019 that is going to be the annus horribilis.)

[I’ll be getting back to planning law in my next post.]



  1. Those of us who think the democratic decision to leave will be disastrous need a plan to get, and win, another referendum. I see no other way of changing course.

  2. I believe it was David Davies (now Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union) who observed that democracy cannot properly be called democracy if people are not free to change their minds. The idea that we must unquestioningly give effect to a marginal and non-binding referendum result way back in June 2016, as if it were set in stone for all time and cannot possibly be reversed, is just plain bonkers. Every day, the hugely damaging effects if Brexit actually goes ahead are becoming increasingly clear. I for one see no reason to join the lemmings who want to jump over the cliff.

    In practice, however, I am reasonably confident that the wheels are going to come off the Brexit juggernaut in the fairly near future, and there is going to have to be a fundamental rethink, taking the form either of a general election or a referendum as to whether in light of the cold hard facts of the only Brexit deal that can actually be obtained (as distinct from the delusional dreams of the Brextremists in the Tory party), it might be better to abandon Brexit altogether. The huge benefits we have obtained from 45 years of membership of the EU, and the continuing benefits that the country would obtain from continuing membership, far outweigh any imagined disadvantages of belonging to this outstandingly successful trading bloc.

    [Incidentally, the idea that we must be free to make trade deals throughout the world is entirely specious. We already have very substantial flows of trade with numerous countries outside the EU, due to the very advantageous collective trade deals with those countries that the EU has been able to negotiate. It is frankly unrealistic to suppose that we could get better deals with those same countries on our own. Liam Fox is in a ministerial post that serves no useful purpose whatsoever.]