Despite European leaders urging the UK to negotiate its exit quickly, the latest evidence of the intriguing reluctance to invoke Article 50 — and get the Brexit ball rolling — follows on from Boris Johnson’s comments that ‘there is no need for haste’. Arguably the political foot-dragging could point to the fact that the leadership of Britain has effectively become a poisoned chalice.
More recently, Johnson — one of the major architects of the current devastation — aimed to reassure us that it will be possible to keep all of the benefits of EU membership with none of the cost. While his cartoon-like optimism is nothing new, one can only wonder if he has been paying attention.
In an article penned for The Telegraph, the key figure in the Leave campaign wrote:
I cannot stress too much that Britain is part of Europe — and always will be.
He said it goes without saying the UK is much better together in forging a new and better relationship with the EU based on free trade and partnership, rather than a federal system, adding:
There will still be intense and intensifying European cooperation and partnership in a huge number of fields: the arts, the sciences, the universities, and on improving the environment. EU citizens living in this country will have their rights fully protected, and the same goes for British citizens living in the EU.
The contradictory wish list continued:
British people will still be able to go and work in the EU; to live; to travel; to study; to buy homes and to settle down.
So we can go there and Europeans can come here but there will be a points-based system? Anyone else confused?
With many still reeling as the reality of a new dawn sinks in, according to Boris, the only change will be that the UK will extricate itself from the EU’s ‘extraordinary and opaque’ system of legislation. Which again begs the question of how he sees this weekend’s carnage.
It isn’t only Boris. In his first public address since the Brexit result was announced, George Osborne has said Britain should not begin pulling out of the European Union until a new Prime Minister is in place. Attempting to allay fears of firms and investors, Mr Osborne claimed the UK economy is strong and ‘open for business’. His attempt to reassure markets followed a survey by the Institute of Directors (IoD) which found the majority of British businesses believed Brexit would negatively impact them. A quarter of those polled said they were putting hiring plans on hold, 5% were set to make workers redundant, and one in five were already considering moving operations outside the UK.
Not only did Leave voters wake up 24 hours after the result to realise they’d been lied to, but the economy is wrecked and the fallout continues to devastate the political establishment. At the same time, Britain is in danger of getting an un-elected Prime Minister, potentially fracturing into separate countries and a surge in hostility has prompted a chilling wave of hate crime.
That said, Johnson’s ‘all is well’ propaganda will do little to quell people’s fears. In fact, it could have the reverse effect by showing voters they have been exploited in a referendum that potentially meant very little.
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