I’ll bet you’re weary beyond words at the thought of Brexit. Me too. Sick to death of the way it sucks the air from all other news stories. So fed up with Boris Johnson, rumpling his hair for the umpteenth time and lumbering towards another European city. So cheesed off, when I see one of these ‘Time left’ meters on telly, where it says it’s now 68 days, 6 hours and 17 minutes until Brexit, I almost long for it to go to 10-9-8 and get the bloody thing done with.
Maybe, of course, that’s the Brexiteers’ strategy – we all get so dubh dóite – fed up – with the whole thing, we’ll just long for it to be over, even when we think it’s a monumentally stupid move.
It seems to be affecting people in RTÉ – they’ve got to the stage where they’re peddling old headlines for new.
For example, last week the RTÉ News Now website had a headline: ‘UK papers say no deal makes hard border likely – report.’ You can see how what’s laughingly called our ‘national broadcaster’ is keen to keep this story at arm’s length. All that ‘UK papers’ and ‘report’ stuff . It clearly doesn’t want to be the one accused of spreading Project Fear – it was the UK papers wot dun it.
But hey – ‘No deal makes hard border likely’? Except you’ve been living in the middle of the Amazon rain forest, you’ll know that a no-deal Brexit would result in a hard border. The report speaks of “shortages of fuel, food and medicine’’ as well as “disruption at ports.” Plus air, rail and sea passengers’ delay. All this is from a ‘British government leak’ by way of the English newspapers.
I knew that, you knew that, everyone knew that. Of course there’ll be shortages of vital things. You can’t be one day inside a secure union of 500 million people and the next outside it without serious disruption and confusion.
Plus if we don’t get that backstop, we’re going to have a border across Ireland again, quick-time. If one part of an island follows one set of trading rules and standards, and another part of the same island follows a different set of trading rules and standards, you’re BOUND to have a border. Different jurisdictions, different standards, different trading alliances. Of course you must have a border. And that’ll mean delays – serious delays. And that’ll cost thousands of jobs which have been built on the back of cross-border harmonization. And we haven’t factored in yet the anger of local people at the return of closed roads, or the opportunism of violent dissident groups who will be given a series of sitting targets in new border –posts.
We all know Murphy’s Law too: anything that can go wrong, will go wrong. Murphy’s Law is usually applied to carefully constructed schemes that people devise which they hope and pray will go right. We’re on the run-up to just the opposite: we’re going to be plunging into something we know is going to turn out badly – the only dispute is, how bad will it be? Murphy’s Law won’t mean good plans made bad, it’ll mean bad plans made nightmarish.
Michael Gove, the British Minister for Brexit, aka Chaos, claims they’ve got plans in place to respond to all these matters. To which let’s all say with one voice: “GOOD LUCK WITH THAT ONE, MICHAEL, YOU IRRITATING LITTLE STUPID-ARSE”.
Because the equation is simple. The backstop in place = smooth trade in Ireland. Or if you wanted to be really ambitious, Irish unity = smooth trade in Ireland. Anything else is going to play merry hell – no, let me change that. There’ll be nothing merry about it.
Except the break-up of the UK, of course.