For those of us privileged enough to live in the Glorious Islands of the Disunited Kingdom, it is difficult to avoid the all-consuming nightmare that is brexit. It dominates the news, the conversations, the supermarket shelves, and every Tweet/email/snapchat sent from the UK now contains at least 50% brexit.
Everyone hates brexit. The Leavers bemoan the fact that people are constantly talking about brexit as though it’s a bad thing. The Remainers, meanwhile, remoan the fact that people are constantly talking about brexit full stop. If we don’t stop brexiting about brexit soon, we’ll all be brexitely brexited.
But do not despair, dear reader. Here at Refractory we’re always striving to provide you with a joyful experience, and this article will therefore be brexit free. Well not completely brexit free, obviously. You can’t kill all the brexit. It’s like those adverts for cleaning products that promise to kill 99.99% of bacteria. There’s always a bit of brexit left.
But we will do our best. Joyful experience, here we come!
So where do we start? We can’t talk about Nissan, the economy, Theresa May, Apple, or Tony Blair, as these are all now brexit related. We could laugh at UKIP, I suppose, those British hooligans invading the continent, claiming benefits, and then brawling in the corridors of its Parliament. Who can resist the nominative determinism of Mike Hookem right hooking Stephen Woolfe? But then again, UKIP is as brexit as it gets, so lead us not into temptation.
Maybe the UK is too close to the bone. Maybe it’s just too caught up in the brexit madness to offer us solace.
OMG like I am SO tired of being told what to do?
Perhaps we should look to the continent instead. What about that CETA treaty between the EU and Canada, then? It’s an interesting story about a free trade deal between the EU and Canada. It’s been 7 years in the making, would remove 98% of all tariffs between Canada and the EU, and would save EU exporters around 500 million Euros. It was almost brought to a crashing halt because a regional Parliament of Belgium voted against it. The treaty has been revived, however, following clarifications made to the Wallonian Parliament. But it’s still not certain it will go through.
I suppose it shows how difficult trade deals can be, how long they can take to negotiate, and how easy it is for them to be blocked. Should the UK ever consider a trade deal with the EU post brexit, this shows how easily it could be stopped by a regional Parliament, even if it has been 7 years in the… Wait, wait, wait, we said no more brexit!
Ok, maybe the continent is also too close to the bone. Maybe we should look further afield. What about the US? They have a fascinating election going on: Hillary Clinton against the racist sexual predator brought to you by Tango. It was, until recently, too close to call. But now that trump has been revealed to be a sexual predator who forces himself on women and grabs them by the brexit, it seems as though his chances of being elected have decreased slightly.
Brexit and Brexiter, on tour
But only slightly. I’m always amazed by the Republican Party’s capacity to stand by a candidate who is openly racist, calls immigrants rapists, has zero knowledge of policy on any subject, supports nuclear proliferation, is a shady businessman, thinks all black people live in inner cities, calls on Putin to hack the democratic party, threatens his opponent with prison, and refuses to accept the basic premise of democracy. Incredibly, all of that was completely fine. Ticked all the boxes. It’s only when he was recorded bragging about his sexual assaults that the republicans had second thoughts. Not all of them, mind you. And certainly not our very own alcoholic Crusader, Nigel Farage who has been busy advising Trump on how to deceive the public following his successful brexit campaign… AAAARRRGGGHHHHHHH.
Ok. Fine. Maybe the US isn’t far away enough. After all, it’s quite likely we’ll become their 51st state following brexit, so we should probably go even further.
What about Colombia? They recently had a referendum on whether to accept a peace treaty ending their 60 year old civil war. It should’ve been a no-brainer, but somehow the result went the wrong way, and… Nope, sorry, too close to the bone.
How about… the Philippines? That’s as un-brexit as it gets. They probably think brexit is a kind of cereal in the Phillipines (tagline: Constipated? Nothing helps your bowels flow like a bowl of Brexit”).
Anyway. They recently elected a new President called Roberto Duterte. He’s quite a character. He called the Pope a son of a bitch. He told Obama to go to hell. He shoots drug dealers for fun. He compared himself to Hitler. He said he would shoot his own children if they took drugs. He condemned a gang rape by saying he should’ve had first dibs as mayor. He slightly threatens to unravel the whole balance of power in South East Asia, antagonising the US whilst making overtures to the Chinese.
So how did he ever get to power? He rose to prominence as mayor of Davao City, where he murdered drug dealers, killing around 1500 alleged criminals and street children. He is part of a new breed of populist candidates, not miles away from Trump in style and substance, whose appeal come from being seen as one of the people, unafraid to use any means necessary to get the job done. Even if these means are undemocratic. Even if it means ignoring human rights abuses. Even if it means alienating your most important partners. It’s a short term gain for a long term pain.
It’s the kind of nonsense that leads a country to tear itself from its neighbours and trade partners because of petty party politics shenanigans. Like, you know…
Ok, I just can’t do it. I’m sorry. I tried. But it seems all roads lead to brexit.
We can’t escape brexit. It’s all the UK will talk about for the next ten years. It has already replaced the weather as the main topic of conversation. We even have a huge variety of brexit to offer now, hard, soft, clear, fast, slow, loving, hateful. A lot of Leavers want a hard, fast and angry brexit, and I personally blame the rise on online pornography for that. Perhaps we can even export brexit, as Farage has been doing.
Because let’s face it, the wrexit that is Brexit isn’t going away. We’re brapidly breaching the point of no breturn. We’re doomed to brembrace brexit. Unless we brejoin. But I wouldn’t hold my breath.