Greetings on Christmas Day to all Christendom and to the wider world.
An historical note from Christmas 1939:
It might be said that I should not write about ordinary political matters on Christmas Day, but the news having just been announced yesterday about Brexit, a few more words are needed.
As I said yesterday, “Boris” has decided to put on the mask of a tragi-comic Chamberlain rather than a tragi-comic Churchill. He says now that he has, belatedly, delivered Brexit. Of sorts, arguably. It is all rather underwhelming.
From what I have seen so far, it seems that the agreement made is all right in many respects, not very satisfactory in others (continuing security and intelligence co-operation, for example). https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2020/dec/24/from-tariffs-to-visas-heres-whats-in-the-brexit-deal
This goes beyond BRINO (Brexit In Name Only) but not very far beyond.
Having said that, the agreement has pretty much shot Farage’s fox as far as the EU is concerned. I think that, though opposition to EU norms will continue on the fringes, this means the end of Brexit and EU matters as central in UK political discourse. Effectively the end of 20 years of Brexit/EU being political drivers in the UK.
To a large extent, the agreement has also shot Labour’s fox re. the EU, too. Labour under Keir Starmer has become almost invisible. Unsurprising. Starmer-Labour has, with minor carping, supported the “Conservative” Government on almost every issue in the past year, from the “virus” messaging and the facemask nonsense to Brexit. It seems that that support will now continue in the Commons vote on this agreement (next week, unless delayed). The agreement will thus be approved, with minor rebellions on the fringes.
As far as the general public is concerned, this agreement will draw a line under Brexit, politically.
The agreement seems to cover most of the factors important in the public mind, such as (by implication) the Roma gypsy element looting the UK from foreign bases, and also the low-paid foreign workers, Poles etc, coming to the UK as of right; the food standards now staying where they are (because the UK will not drop below EU norms, so no American chlorinated chicken etc).
It looks as though animal welfare in farming etc is covered (the UK is ahead of most of the EU states in that respect anyway).
Yes, there are sacrifices made: the fishing part is not very good for the UK, though at least there will not be the first Anglo-French naval engagements, in the Channel, since Napoleonic times. Britain’s fishermen have been, to some extent, sacrificed for the wider good. That means that the head has ruled the heart, fishing being only 1% of the UK’s GDP.
Also, British people will (or may) find it less convenient to live or work in EU states, though most live rather than work (retired people etc) and that happened even before the UK joined the original EEC in 1973, though on a smaller scale. People just had to apply for a carte de sejour in France, and the equivalent elsewhere.
There will be some grumbling about this from both “Brexiteers” and Remainers but, as a major political issue, Brexit has been finally put to bed.
Tweets seen today
The above Twitter accounts are always worth looking at.
Interesting tweet thread
A Pleasant Terror… Well worth watching…
Goodnight, and wishing well all who wish me well. Meine Ehre heisst Treue…
God bless blessed memory…