SO long, farewell, goodbye, auf wiedersehen, goodbye.
The country’s valiant endurance of the ordeal of leaving the European Union is over after more than four long hair-raising, teeth-grinding, nail-biting, curse-laden years; finally, Brexit is complete.
Historians and university students would have a wealth of information in the years ahead to fill in books and dissertations on how Britain, its politicians, its courts, and its parliaments were engulfed by a kind of insanity that governed our lives for so long – before, that is, something worse happened.
With its sometimes confounding specifics and bewildering jargon, the Brexit saga has been a celebration of constant parliamentary hearings, late-night votes on a knife’s edge, cabinet resignations, humiliating government losses, and distrustful colleagues’ motions of no confidence, the withdrawal of two prime ministers, the intricacies of the backstop of Northern Ireland, the controversy over parliamentary prorogation
The shuttling of officials back and forth between Brussels and London, the expressions of desperation, the prophecies of disaster before defeat, the brinkmanship of the eleventh hour and, finally, the historic agreement with Belgian fudge, came for dessert.
As a political issue, Brexit has checked the country’s mental wellbeing and split it like no other.
Parents are arguing with their daughters, brothers with their sisters, neighbors are no longer talking over the garden fence to each other, and drinking partners are seeking another table in the pub to sit at.
Although what Boris Johnson called the “old, dried-up, tired, super-chewed arguments” about the Brexit process might be over, there is sadly no political fallout from leaving the EU; quite the contrary.
The topic will now feed into the referendum campaign for Holyrood, which will be about the pros and cons of the two unions – the UK and the EU, as the debates in the House of Commons in the last debate on the Brexit process revealed.
The Commons chamber echoed once again with heated and noisy references to Brexit, fueling a final Westminster ding-dong as MPs and peers finished their Covid-wrapped festive break.
The first to make a comment of profound annoyance was Ian Blackford.
As he constantly stood up to interrupt and called on the prime minister to avoid the flood of words from Mr. Johnson, who was obviously eager to soak up his Brexit colleagues’ adulation for finally bringing Britain out, the SNP leader played the part of a parliamentary jack-of-all-trades.
Mr. Blackford was on his feet within minutes, moaning about how Boris should tell the U.K. When fishermen had less access to fishing than before, they would take back control of their fishing waters.
The Highland MP stood up again, drawing the speaker’s raised eyebrows, when the prime minister insisted that Scottish fishermen would be able to catch more fish “from the start,” The top nationalist was given wise advice by Sir Lindsay Hoyle: “At least give yourself time to hear what the prime minister has to say before you contradict him.”
Mr. Boris told MPs that in just five and a half years, when the current transition era for fisheries is over, the UK will take complete possession of “all of Scotland’s spectacular marine wealth.”
Referring to Mr. Blackford, he joked, “It’s only the Scottish Nationalist Party that would return control of this country’s waters to the UK with spectacular hypocrisy.”
The leader of the SNP was back on his feet, arguing in another order that Boris had again mispronounced the name of his party.
The Prime Minister explained, “I use the word ‘nationalist’ with a small n,” “I don’t think he would disagree with that, which is semantically acceptable under the circumstances. But despite that nomenclature, they would give back control of Scottish waters and go back to the Common Fisheries Policy.”
Mr. Blackford urged Boris to concede, after rolling his eyes. Completely not,”Absolutely not,”feigned indignation,”feigned outrage.”
He then embarked on a self-congratulation ride, praising the “Canadian-style comprehensive agreement worth over 660 billion”