Monday, June 19, 2017
In Memoriam - Britain Enters the Brexit Zone
Theresa May plotted to enter Brexit negotiations with the E.U. full of hellfire and fury. Then she buggered up an opportunistic general election, losing the Tories their majority. As if that wasn't bad enough, May bungled the Greenfall tower catastrophe at one point being put to rout by an angry crowd. The Gods, it appears, have it in for Theresa May, prime minister pro tem.
Disasters, some say, come in threes and, sure enough, today begins the Brexit talks to negotiate Britain's withdrawal from the European Union. Here's how The Guardian's Martin Rowson captures the moment:
According to Der Spiegel, the E.U. team has suddenly lost their fear of Britain's would-be Iron Lady II. Some believe the Brexit baby may be stillborn.
"The country looks ridiculous," the Financial Times -- not exactly a leftist mouthpiece -- wrote recently. Indeed, the party of Winston Churchill and Margaret Thatcher has turned into a gaggle of high rollers and unwitting clowns.
Great Britain may be an island, but economically it is the most interconnected country in Europe: The financial center in London, the country's carmakers, what's left of British industry and even the country's infrastructure. France delivers electricity, water sanitation facilities in southern England belong to Germans and large airports such as Heathrow are owned by Spaniards. One quarter of the doctors who keep afloat the NHS -- Britain's comparatively deficient health care system -- come from the Continent.
The promise of Brexit was steeped in ideology from the very beginning, a fairy tale based on dark chauvinism. The Spanish Armada, Napoleon, Hitler and now the Polish plumbers who allegedly push down wages -- when in reality they ensured that, after decades of lukewarmly dripping showers, the country's bathrooms gradually returned to functionality. Brexit was never a particularly good idea. Now, following the most recent election, Brexit is defunct. That, at least, is what a member of Theresa May's cabinet intimated last weekend. "In practical terms, Brexit is dead," an unnamed minister told the Financial Times.