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Brexit makes us look stupid

Across Europe, across the world, they’re getting mightily fed up and cheesed-off with Britain. Nobody knows what we want. Almost three years after the referendum, nobody has a clue what Brexit really means.

They used to look up to Britain. They used to regard us as a stabilising influence. We provided balance, maturity, rationality.

No longer. Our reputation has been trashed. Poor old Blighty. We’ve gone a bit peculiar.

We are not acting in our best interests or anyone else’s. We’ve gone off the rails. We’re heading for the cliff edge – and all for what? Nothing that anyone can work out.

This week in the European Parliament their Brexit co-ordinator, Guy Verhofstadt, gave a brilliant and impassioned speech. He neatly summed up the dire situation in Britain:

“What started as a catfight inside the Conservative Party is today an existential problem for the whole of Britain.”

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He’s right, isn’t he? This has been an internal domestic squabble amongst Tories for decades that’s now engulfed the entire country, our continent and the world.

And all for what? Zero benefits; just turmoil for no good reason.

Mr Verhofstadt was responding to a speech by Ashley Fox, MEP, the leader of the Conservatives in the European Parliament.

Mr Fox said:

“There is no deal until both sides have approved it according to their law. And it is simply not good enough to repeat ad nauseam that the deal cannot be amended.”

Not good enough? This is THE deal that has been painstakingly in the making for almost two years. It was agreed, signed off and approved by the Prime Minister, Theresa May. She endorsed it. She implored MPs to support it.

They didn’t – by the biggest Commons vote against a government in our history.

So, what does Britain want now? Nobody is clear, nobody knows, least of all the House of Commons, where they are at loggerheads every day.

As Mr Verhofstadt pointed out:

“We have seen a vote against a number of things: against the deal; against no deal; against the backstop. But until today, for more than two years the House of Commons has not voted one proposal in favour of something, in favour of a relationship between the EU and UK. Never!”

He added:

“The last two months, I have to tell you, have been very exhausting.”

“Endless debates, long lists of amendments, amendments going in all directions, selected by the Speaker, and then won and lost with a teeny-tiny majority.”

“Is that the way to solve a problem of this magnitude? Is that the way to do that? Is that the way you do that? That is, every day changing your opinion? And in any way creating uncertainty, instability, instead of concluding a real, new relationship between the EU and UK.”

And in an exasperated tone Mr Verhofstadt said:

“I have to tell you that we cannot go any further like that.” 

Brexit is making Britain look stupid. Surely, we simply cannot go any further like this.

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