From here to ‘Brexiternity’: Can Britain cope with two more years of uncertainty?
Parliament has been surrounded by protesters all week as MPs voted on a series of measures to resolve Brexit. (ABC News: Lincoln Rothall)
Can we cover our eyes until it’s all over?
It’s excruciating watching a political system splinter and fray in this manner.
The UK Parliament had descended into a pit of unruliness.
“It’s as if the Titanic voted to remove the iceberg,” Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte was quoted as saying, summing up the madness of it all.
The day began bizarrely enough with US President Donald Trump entering the fray.
His tweeting began about 5am Washington time, with his first exclamation mark of the day reserved for his British friends.
“My administration looks forward to negotiating a large-scale trade deal with the United Kingdom. The potential is unlimited!”
In other words: make Brexit happen.
The British press was quick to report he been urged to intervene by arch-Brexiteer Nigel Farage.
Brexiteer Nigel Farage reportedly urged US President Donald Trump to tweet his support for a hard exit. (AP: Jean Francois Badias)
Later on, the US President helpfully said he was surprised how badly the Brexit negotiations had gone, and that Prime Minister Theresa May should have listened to his advice.
“I’d like to see that whole situation with Brexit work out,” Mr Trump said while lambasting the EU for treating the US “very unfairly” on trade.
The definition of things working out depends on who you ask.
An attempt to secure another Brexit referendum was firmly rejected by MPs.
It means the UK may not now leave on March 29 as previously planned, and could be delayed by three months to June 30.
It has been shambles of week for UK politics. It’s almost as though we should all turn away to save any further embarrassment.
Ian Dunt, Editor of Politics.co.uk summed it up in a late-night tweet, “Now, if I can just say from bottom of my heart: F*** this s***,” he wrote.
Two more years of Brexit?
What has been on display in the House of Commons has been simply bizarre.
Now it’s over to EU leaders to oblige their neighbour across the Channel.
They’ve continually refused to guarantee any extension of time without a clear explanation of the aim, but now they seem to be arguing that only a longer extension would be worthy.
And after the UK Parliament twice rejected Mrs May’s deal by historic margins, there is renewed talk that she could get her deal through next week, with the Democratic Unionist Party revealing it’s still negotiating.
“When you come to an end of a negotiation, that’s when you really start to see the whites in people’s eyes,” DUP leader Arlene Forster declared.
But there are reports that if Theresa May can’t find support for a third vote on her deal, European leaders could demand a delay of two years.
@eucopresident During my consultations ahead of #EUCO, I will appeal to the EU27 to be open to a long extension if the UK finds it necessary to rethink its #Brexit strategy and build consensus around it.
The question now is: how will the British people, who have already endured two years of Brexit madness, cope with the possibility of a potential two-year delay?
Protesters from rival camps of the Brexit debate have surrounded Britain’s Parliament every day this week.
Remainers, who wish to stay part of the European Union, may feel emboldened by this delay — they see today’s events as a major win.
But Brexiteers are outraged.
There are concerns that as this drags on, there could be some fractures in society and even the threat of civil unrest.
As the world watches on, the UK Parliament is more like a rabbit caught in the headlights, not knowing which way to turn.