If only President Macron had made good on his threat to block another Brexit extension, but I should have known, you can’t trust politicians, whether they’re British or French.
For months I’d been planning my Brexit Halloween outfit – I was going as a zombie Theresa May with my blond 3-year old nephew as a mini-Boris to accompany me. But it’s just as well we’re not leaving the EU this week because my nephew would rather go as a ‘mummy cat’. Having seen the adorable outfit he’s picked out, I can’t blame him for not wanting to dress up as a lying politician. So, I’ll probably go as my default character – a mean mother – for which, my children reliably inform me, no dress-up is required.
With no Brexit in sight, I have little use of my shiny new British passport (which, disappointingly, isn’t blue). At least my newly acquired citizenship entitles me to vote in the upcoming December election. With a Brexit Halloween off the table, a Christmas election is a decidedly less exciting alternative. I can’t say I am jumping for joy at the prospect, what with the choices on offer: a racist party, an antisemitic party, a deluded party run by a woman with a massive Napoleon complex, or a one-woman party that’s only popular in Brighton.
I’m under no illusion that the upcoming election is going to help sort out the gordian knot that led to it: Brexit. Although I would have preferred if Britain remained an EU member, I’m not in favour of revoking Article 50, because that would be like pissing on the millions of people who voted for Brexit in good faith and who are not entitled Tory voters.
That said, the deal that Boris Johnson negotiated with the EU is a terrible one and would make life harder for everyone who’s not filthy rich. And given the narrow margin with which the Leave vote won the referendum, there’s no mandate for a hard Brexit, let alone a no-deal Brexit.
In the spirit of Halloween, therefore, I propose that parliament resurrect Theresa May’s deal from the dead, a deal that no one liked but which wasn’t quite as disastrous as Johnson’s deal. If you must, put the deal to the people in another referendum, but remember, divorces tend to leave everyone feeling a bit rubbish, and Brexit is no different.
But I fear the yuletide election will return another hung parliament and we’ll be no closer to resolving Brexit. Unless it turns out that Santa votes Tory and hands Boris Johnson the majority he needs to push through his Brexit deal. Might we then have a Brexit New Year’s Eve?
While politicians fight like spoilt brats over Brexit, the country is reeling from neglect. The NHS is at breaking point after years of cutbacks; air pollution causes an estimated 40,000 deaths every year and leaves hundreds of thousands suffering from long-term health problems; and years of austerity have hit the most vulnerable members of society the hardest.
Whatever you think of Brexit, one thing is clear: this country deserves better than another five years of Tory politics.