Well, Brexit took another step towards the finish line on Sunday when EU leaders formally agreed to back the plan in its current incarnation.
The fate of the deal is now in the hands of UK lawmakers.
It goes without saying that this descended into farce a long time ago. Literally nobody likes this. Not the EU, not UK Euroskeptics and not pro-EU politicians in the UK either.
Tusk and Juncker delivered a series of truly uninspired remarks in Brussels, calling Sunday “a sad day”.
Tusk attempted to ensure everyone that Europe and the UK will “remain friends until the end of days and one day longer”. That, he said, is “certain.”
What’s also “certain” is that every, single one of those “days” is now guaranteed to be some semblance of contentious.
European leaders were clear that this is as “good” as it’s going to get. If Theresa May can’t get this through Parliament, then all bets are off where that means the UK will crash out of the EU with no transition and no parting gifts.
“Those who do think by rejecting the deal that they would have a better deal will be disappointed in the first seconds after the rejection of this deal”, Juncker said. Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz reiterated that sentiment, telling reporters that this “is the final result [and] it will definitely not be renegotiated and there will be no further leeway.”
On Saturday, May penned an open letter to her people. We posted that here last night, but we’ll post it again just in case. Here it is:
As you can see, that’s full of misinformation, but as we’ve said time and again, May (along with her “heart and soul”) is in an impossible situation here.
So, Parliament will vote on this boondoggle “in a few weeks’ time”.
This is, frankly, one of the more absurd episodes in recent geopolitical history. This referendum was nothing more than a senseless political ploy designed to play on the upsurge of populist sentiment that was sweeping across Europe at the time.
Although May has been at pains to pitch this as a push to deliver and honor “the will of the people”, the results of that referendum reflected not the “will” of an informed populace, but rather what happens when voters are forced to make a momentous decision based solely on emotion.
There’s no better way to illustrate that point than to once again present the following Google Trends chart which shows that when the UK voted to leave the EU, a whole lot of people didn’t even know what it was they were voting to leave.