The message to come out from the UK general election is loud and clear. Parliament has passed the withdrawal agreement and Brexit will happen on 31 January. Three and a half years of bickering and both the UK and the EU will leave the divorce courtroom and go their separate ways. Never mind about the children and their futures.
The Conservatives have obtained five years of political freedom, courtesy of a Labour party that not only lost the plot over Brexit, but doesn’t have any theory of its own. It must rely on an outdated philosophy for the people, that doesn’t interest anyone, and has been show time and time again to fail.
Boris Johnson’s message, like that of so many victors who savour the taste of political victory the day after the night before, is to ask for appeasement. We must forget insurmountable divisions and seek reconciliation. The labels of leave and remain must be removed from the pot and we must all benefit from the freshly made honey.
Those supporting Brexit have always maintained that they knew what they were voting for. If that is true, then they are not blind, but have turned a blind eye to someone who has, at the very least, been blindfolded. Boris Johnson has shown so many times how disconnected he is from reality.
In proclaiming that there was no need for some sort of Irish border, comparing the border to that between two London boroughs, he ended up by accepting that a border was inevitable.
Boris Johnson claims that Brexit will make everyone cuddle around a winter fire, build a new and prosperous country, and relate the love they have for their European neighbours. Despite the Queen reading a speech that she did not write, yet alone understood, we still do not know what Boris Johnson will do with his newly acquired power. His intentions may be of the noblest sort – curing an ailing health system, combatting terrorism, running trains on time, all without interference from Brussels.
I ask myself if the British electorate really understood what the present Conservative party is all about. Boris Johnson has conquered traditional labour heartland. Have the Labour voters entrusted him to negotiate a free trade agreement with the EU that would protect employment rights? Does he intend to break European rules and safeguards to please those who want a new Thatcherite revolution that is more in line with Donald Trump’s hands-on guide-book to making a country great again?
The divorce that is taking place will not be as dangerous as the stalking and knife stabbing that are still to come. Trade wars are merciless at the best of times and with the best of intentions. The fact that Boris Johnson does not want to go beyond December 2020 to negotiate a deal is a sign of things to come.
The EU is warned. It risks witnessing the birth of a rogue nation at its door step, a nation sacrificing basic rights and moral practices, for the sake of a competitive economy. The UK can pride itself in its political system, the most deep-rooted democracy in Europe. But the political debate has been badly undermined by a prime minister renowned for his ability to perform as an illusionist, the collapse of any credible opposition, and an underestimation of what it means to leave the EU. The UK must be careful not to uproot the very foundations that made its democracy so reliable and enviable.