When Nick Clegg takes a knee in front of the Queen to receive his knighthood later this year, it will not be obvious what he has achieved in two decades of public office.
To be sure, as leader of the Liberal Democrats he was the first yellow tie in government since the Second World War. But his Commons seat loss at the hands of Corbynite Jared O’Mara – later disgraced for Internet rudeness – capped a year of Liberal destruction, in an election that has all but ensured Brexit by securing Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader.
A year ago I predicted that Britain was almost certain to trigger Article 50 and begin exiting the EU, after a narrow but clear victory for “leave” in the referendum.
So it has proved. In March prime minister Theresa May sent a letter to Brussels indicating that Britain will leave the bloc after 40 years’ membership. Legal commentary saw it as inevitable that once the article was invoked Britain would make for the exit, albeit with some resistance.
Now, who knows?
You may have heard that Britain, a small country in the north-west of Europe, recently voted to leave the European Union (EU), by a narrow margin of 51.9 to 48.1 percent.
The result mostly crept up on the political, media and corporate establishments (not to mention the bookies), who had thought that Britons would cleave to the perceived safety of the status quo, even as polls in the week prior to the vote signalled otherwise.
Since the outcome was revealed on June 23rd many have predicted that it could be undone by legal or political shenanigans. The lawyer David Allen Green has even claimed that Article 50, the legal mechanism for Britain quitting the EU, might never be invoked.
All of which leaves an obvious question: After the referendum result, is Britain actually going to trigger Article 50 and leave the EU? And will it do it by 2020, the year the next general election is scheduled for?
As someone who spends much of his time listening to left-wingers, I’m used to seeing people upset after losing an election.
Contrary to popular cliché, such events rarely look like the five stages of grief, and the aftermath of the British decision to leave the European Union has been no different.
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John is called in to mediate Jazza and Jimmy, both on different sides of the Brexit vote, and to discuss the fallout from last week’s vote.
Scotland, Ireland, and the future of the Lib Dems, Tories and Labour are all on the cards. Basically, we’re fucked. (Ed: According to Jazza.)
Image Credit – Brexit Tea by frankieleon