Pity Me

Kajsa has started referring to my country as ‘your poor little island’. I can live with that. But I don’t imagine that patriotic Brexiteers will appreciate their proud nation’s being pitied in this way. But it’s all their fault.

The solution should be easy. The 2016 referendum vote was very close, and not reliable in any case. Two out of four of Britain’s constituent nations voted Remain. Round about half the total voting population – maybe more now – voted that way. So there ought to be a compromise.

The Norway Model, or something close to it, keeping Britain within the single market, looks the perfect one. It would meet each side halfway. There would probably be a majority in Parliament for it. It would solve the Irish border problem at a stroke.The EU would grant Britain an extension of Article 50 to negotiate it. Extreme Brexiteers won’t like it, as neither do I (a Remainer), but that’s in the nature of compromises. May won’t brook it, partly because she’s in hock to her Europhobic loonies, and partly, perhaps, because it’s Corbyn’s idea, and she couldn’t stomach that. It would also mean that she’s been wasting her time, and sorely trying the patience (and the treasure) of the country, for nearly three years. But it’s the simplest and indeed the only way out. It could be achieved by a Corbyn government; or, failing that, by the forces of reason and moderation on all sides of the House of Commons taking control and voting it through. Why the f**ck can’t they see it?

Do this, and the whole episode will still have harmed us, of course. But in a short while the world might stop feeling sorry for us, and give us back a little of the respect that our patriots used to credit us with.

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