- Feb 27, 2010
Great quote from Chris Bryant to Sky News yesterday "This is like Alice in Wonderland .... except that had laughs"Brexit – A Study in Contrasts
The Brexit process was a concurrent experience for EU, Ireland and Britain
In the case of Ireland, with the Brexit referendum result, DFA led by Charlie Flanagan developed a policy structure around issues and allies that has withstood the test of time. The emphasis was on issues analysis and strategic response policies that were well founded in an accurate assessment of realities and possibilities. Apart from an occasional tactical wobble, the structure has survived intact.
For the EU, similar comments apply.
For Britain, they are no less endowed with people of intellect and diplomatic and political skills and experience and yet they have ended up with a Brexit shambles of extraordinary dimensions.
Their initial analysis of realities and possibilities resulted in a policy structure that lacked coherence. That their initial policy structure was full of contradictions was evident to everyone, including themselves. Their persistence with this incoherent policy structure seemed founded on the belief that they could, by short-term tactical moves, achieve the strategic outcomes they planned. While they did achieve the occasional tactical success, the overall weakness of their strategic choices has led them into an utter and total political and diplomatic shambles.
The only useful explanation for their adoption of incoherent policy choices over several years is that, having spent decades denigrating EU institutions and people, they came to believe that they could tactically outmanoeuvre EU and get their way.
Short term extensions offer no real solution to the situation Britain now finds itself in. A long term extension has even less merit. Like the train wreck that it is, Brexit requires a full reset - annul the Brexit notification, take a break for a few years, let the internal wounds heal, and come back to the issue in a few years time when passions have cooled, perspectives have adjusted and then start with a new Brexit process if that is the political wish. That would be a cool rational decision. Whether Britain can make cool rational decisions is now a fundamental question that only they themselves can answer.