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Homechevron_rightOpinionchevron_rightEditorialchevron_rightThe black smoke in...

The black smoke in Britain


Present-day Britain appears to be becoming a text-book case  of how frenzied nationalism and emotional slogans will lead to administrative and economic crisis.  The current socio-economic  stalemate that Britain finds itself in,  is enough to prove that its decision of 23 June 2016 to extricate itself from the European Union (Brexit) was neither realistic nor far-sighted.   

All solutions coming up in the scenario, and all of which are bereft of answers acceptable to all sides,  are becoming enganglements that can split Britain politically and racially.   If the no-deal Brexit happens on 31 October (that is bound to happen absent any deal with EU before that deadline),  what awaits Britain is deep economic recession.   More than that,  it will also result in loss of credibility due to non-compliance with international accords,  compounded by internal insecurity caused by the racial discrimination that is gaining strength within.  For,  as per the referendum,  Britain had to complete its separation by 29 March 2019 and sign separate deals with each of the 29 member countries of EU.   But Theresa May,  who took succeeded the pro-Brexit David Cameroon as PM could not clinch that deal and further,  her move for getting the deals drafted with EU was defeated in parliament three times,  eventually causing her to call it quits.  And the one who masterminded matters up to that culmination is none other than her party colleague and current prime minister, Boris Johnson.

For Boris Johnson,  known for emotional and whimsical pronoucements and the right-wing extremists,  Brexit was also a short-cut to power.  As one who spearheaded the drive in favour for Britain's divorce from EU,  he had espoused white racist slogans in the name of anti-immigration stances.  And in order to defeat the agreements Theresa May had signed with EU and to succeed her as prime minister by building up dominance within the Conservative Party,  he put forward the contention that her moves were once again going to make Britain subservient to EU and that her proposed deals were anti-national.   As a matter of fact,   if the draft deal tabled in parliament were approved,  although technically Britain  would withdraw from the EU,  the status quo would have continued till December 2020 which could have bought Britain sufficient time to sign permanent trade agreements.  But Boris Johnson stormed to the prime minister's post with a declaration that without any such deals Britain should exit from EU and become a single country.   But the other day in parliament,  the Opposition and a section of Conservative party have jointly defeated the prime minister's intransigent stance to leave the EU at any cost on 31 October without a deal.

A no-deal Brexit would inflict a significant damage on Britain economically and socially.   With a change in the tax regime,  goods exported from Britain to the EU countries will stockpile in ports in the absence of exchange agreements.   Conversely,  goods and services supplied from the continent to Britain will also face similar crisis.  30 per cent of food items of Britain are imported from Europe.  EU nationals residing in Britain,  and British nationals living in EU member countries will have to renew their documents like residence card,  health insurance  and driving licence by 31 October. In addition,  Johnson has rejected the EU proposal for goods movement via the border of northern Ireland,  without a concrete solution.   This may complicate the border issues with Ireland and cause the internal strife there to flare up again.   But prime minister Johnson,  who got isolated in parliament in the process,  has called for fresh election to the parliament,  with  an apparent calculation that he can mobilize the radical right which played a pivotal role in the Brexit victory and thereby come back to power.  To this end,  he has sought the support of Nigel Farage,  a stanch champion of racist slogans. In short, Britain is teaching the world that the political ambitions of the far-right will leave the world with nothing other than disasters.  However,  for that very reason the demand for a second referendum about continuing in EU is gaining strength in Britain.  Political heavy weights including Mayor of London Sadiq Khan,  Scottish leader Nicola Storgeon,  Labour Party leader Tom Watson and Conservative leader Lord Heseltine are engaged in an intense campaign for a fresh referendum.

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