by Frank Schnittger
Mon Apr 8th, 2019 at 11:23:17 AM EST
OK I'm going to go way off the reservation here and make some far out predictions based only on the most tenuous of currently observable facts. I do so because I can't see the Brexit conundrum being resolved within the available universe of conventional solutions, and because I think the retribution of "the people" on those who authored their misfortune will be terrible.
It's one thing punishing a government for poor performance during an economic downturn which may be little more than a reflection of a global business cycle. But its quite another when your government is almost the sole author of your misfortune, and not only that, has caused you to become the laughing stock of the "civilised" world. People have their pride, too, you know, and hate being made to look foolish.
My first few predictions will be somewhat mundane, but then the fun begins:
- The May Corbyn talks have already fulfilled their primary function of providing May with a pretext for seeking a further A. 50 extension and giving Corbyn an opportunity to look relatively measured, reasonable, and statesmanlike by comparison. It is in neither leader's interest to actually come to an agreement, and hardly anyone expects or wants that anyway.
- Despite Macron playing bad cop the EU will agree May's request for an extension, but with stern words about coming up with a workable plan, participating fully in the European Parliament (EP) elections, and accepting a duty of "sincere cooperation" for as long as the UK remains a member. [Read: Keep Rees-Mogg off our lawn].
- UKIP and Farage's new Brexit party will campaign enthusiastically in the EP elections as hating on the EU is their whole raison d'être. As before, no one will quite know where all their funding comes from. The Conservatives will be forced to follow suit despite fearing annihilation and wishing they could pretend the EP elections weren't really happening and claiming they don't matter anyway.
- Corbyn will find it increasingly difficult to ride both Leave and Remain horses at once and will point to the EP elections as an opportunity to "let the people have their say" and that Labour would abide by the result. However as the campaign progresses Labour edges ever closer to the Remain/second referendum position for fear of leaking votes to the Lib Dems and Change UK: The Independent Group party
- The EP elections will also be a lifeline for the new Change UK: The Independent Group party as most of their members face defeat in a FPTP single seat constituency general election and can only hope to cling on to a political career as MEPs. If elected they will seek to join the EPP so they can claim to be the only UK party in the only European Party grouping which matters much, these days.
- Both Sinn Fein and the DUP will lose votes in the N. Ireland EP election with the Ulster Unionist Party and the SDLP in a dogfight for the final seat. The sky will fall in if nationalists win 2 out of the three seats for the first time ever.
- Tory voters simply won't show up for the EP elections claiming they are irrelevant as the UK is leaving the EU sooner or later anyway. Other important "influencers" will try to organise a boycott of the elections but will be confounded when the overall poll ends up being almost as high as the 2016 referendum or at least much higher than any previous EP election in the UK.
- The Tories are decimated receiving c. 15% of the vote, outvoted by both the Lib Dems and UKIP/Brexit parties combined. Leave supporting parties are defeated by Remain supporting parties (if you include Labour) by a margin of 2:1. If the poll is high enough this would equate to a victory for Remain by 20 Million votes to 10 Million, eclipsing the 17 Million people who voted Leave in the 2016 referendum. All attempts to proclaim the vote as "meaningless" prove futile in the circumstances.
- May finally resigns as Tory Leader paving the way for a Tory Leadership election. Jeremy Hunt ["The EU is like the Soviet Union"] wins the Tory Parliamentary party leadership nomination process with Boris Johnson just about obtaining 2nd. place. Although it might be a struggle to imagine such a thing, Hunt is regarded as the "May Lite" candidate, a Remainer at heart who dutifully followed the dictates of "the people" in search of high office.
- Dispensing with such nonsense the Tory Party membership (average age 70+ and heavily infiltrated by ex UKIP members) proclaim Boris Johnson as their new leader. Unfortunately, some Tory MPs fail to reconcile themselves to this prospect and do not vote for Boris as Prime Minister denying him a majority in the House of Commons. When he fails to win a vote for Prime Minister a second time, May (still acting Prime Minister) has no option but to call a general election.
- Johnson campaigns for a "no deal" Brexit with Labour promising to attempt to "reform" the EU before considering the matter of Brexit again. The Tories are decimated in the general election with Corbyn becoming Prime Minister and the Lib Dems becoming the largest opposition party. The SNP clean up in Scotland, Plaid Cymru do well in Wales, but the DUP retain most of their seats. (Nothing ever changes in Northern Ireland, see: Winston Churchill’s “the dreary steeples of Fermanagh and Tyrone").
- Prime Minister Corbyn more or less forgets the Brexit debacle ever happened and focuses on a domestic policy agenda. Labour, instead of rejoining the neoliberal-lite Social Democrat group, joins the new European Spring group, providing the bulk of its membership, and sets about the business of serious EU reform. Ireland finds there is a price to be paid for all that EU solidarity and reluctantly agrees some corporate tax reforms including a digital tax on the on-line e-commerce giants.
And then they all lived happily ever after...