Make no mistake, Brexit is the result of the UK being held hostage by their own intense nationalism. Hard to believe in a country where identity is as splintered as it is, (hello Scotland's Independence vote a few years back). A push to exit the grasp of the EU isn’t surprising, the UK always wanted out. Group think saw them push that agenda back in 2016 and win. Naturally people were sleeping on the importance of the vote, feigning ignorance about the importance of the EU and blaming poor campaigning on the side of the Remain side and underhanded tactics on the side of Leave. I hear someone yell from in front of their computer screen “but that was 2016, why are we still talking about it?”
Simply put, the UK wanted it all their own way. The EU isn’t exactly the poster child for all inclusive democracy but it’s better than nothing. A sense of undying nationalism is steering the ship now, we’ve seen that become an unrelenting trend among our global leaders of late.
What is nationalism but the passionate investment in one’s country over and above others. Trump pushes a nationalist agenda, his MAGA hats literally being the benchmark of his presidency. It can push a win at all costs attitude ultimately leading your leader to seek all power. This encourages exclusionary attitudes, a decision about who is part of our nation and who doesn't, will reign supreme. Trump and his wall, ultimate nationalism. European countries are also facing decisions about how welcome their borders are with the current refugee crisis. Oscar Wilde was once quoted as saying that “Patriotism is the virtue of the vicious” and truthfully, I agree.
So how is this relevant to Brexit? Brexit highlighted the British people's need for Independence. Modern day Britain's never knew the autonomy that the United States enjoy, living in the EU bubble was like still living at home in your parents house despite having your own car. Living under their roof, their rules etc. But now in 2019, we see clearly that they can’t afford the rent to actually live alone. The UK forgot to consider many factors about the exit deal, never giving much thought to what an Independent life would look like. Safety nets are liked by many for a reason.
So time is running out for Theresa May and her Government, the pressure, the embarrassment all beginning to become a little bit more than many can put up with, what exactly are her options now?
- May’s deal with changes to the backstop
- Extend article 50 to stop no deal
- A second referendum if neither May nor Corbyn backed it
- A second referendum with Labour backing
- A second referendum with government backing
- A soft Brexit deal with a customs union with government and Labour backing
As it stands
May has already announced that the controversial registration fee for EU citizens living in the UK and wanting to remain after Brexit would be waived. May said she would return to Brussels to try to renegotiate the contentious Northern Ireland backstop, which Brexiteers want to be stripped out of the withdrawal agreement. But on the two big demands of lawmakers most critical of Brexit -- ruling out a no deal Brexit, which many fear would damage the UK economy, and allowing a second referendum -- May said her government would not allow either move.
Monday is D-Day (feels like we have said that numerous times already), but perhaps a softer kind of D-Day than we saw previously. The time is quickly running out on May but she has been steadfast in her unwillingness to change course. It may well be the case of tinkering with a plan until there is no plan left. Only time will tell.