You would hardly notice the great day today: the first anniversary of Brexit Day. We have been so overwhelmed by other concerns in a year that should have been a year for building. Has no one noticed the date?
It has been a very good Brexit, and in the nick of time a good deal was done, better that we expected. It was a game of chicken and played well, resulting in what we might think was a British victory, but what was actually the best result for both sides, even in the Europeans don’t realise it yet. The doomsayers were to be disappointed.
I cannot say that the doomsayers were proven wrong, as they could well have been right in some respects had the sands fallen a different way or the negotiators been less steadfast., but their proclaimed doom was averted. (They have the satisfaction at least that the deal was so close to the time that exporters could not get their paperwork straight so that it looked for a few weeks like a disaster. They’ll be happy with that.)
However, the worst predications, which Brexiteers like me dismissed, have still come to pass: the economy has indeed collapsed, unemployment has soared, the NHS has failed and social problems have multiplied. It is not because of Brexit though: it is because of the lockdown.
A year ago, on Brexit Day itself, COVID-19 was known about but was only just spreading visibly in Britain. Now it has infected even the news cycle. The collapse though in society, economy, the NHS, public credit and much else beside is not because of the disease but because of the measures taken in response to it.
Maybe this is the end of it. I would not count on it. If though the nation can be released to recover again and reap the benefit of Brexit freedom, we are well placed to be the first to come out of it. Then there will be a landscape of bankruptcy across the whole continent, the one where all our business’s customers are meant to be. Maybe there is something to be made by buying all those bankrupt businesses up, with British money and enterprise?
Maybe next year we can have our celebration
- Got Brexit Done (31 January 2020)
- Where the Remainers were right
- Ireland abused, abandoned
- The EU-UK Trade and Co-operation Agreement
- All Out War: The Full Story of How Brexit Sank Britain’s Political Class by Tim Shipman
- Brexit: Why Britain Voted to Leave the European Union by Harold D. Clarke, Matthew Goodwin and Paul Whiteley
- Britons: Forging the Nation 1707-1837 by Linda Colley
- Empire: What Ruling the World Did to the British by Jeremy Paxman
- A History of Scotland by Neil Oliver
- Brexit: How the Nobodies Beat the Somebodies by Sebastian J. Handley
- Brexit and Ireland: The Dangers, the Opportunities, and the Inside Story of the Irish Response by Tom Connelly
- Beyond Brexit by Vernon Bogdanor
- From Partition to Brexit: The Irish Government and Northern Ireland by Donnacha O Beachain
- Brexit: Its Necessity and Challenge by Tony Kosuge
- Rising Tides: Facing the Challenges of a New Era by Liam Fox
- By Boris Johnson:
- For the Record by David Cameron