Last week sounds like a bad Craig David song.
On Monday, the DUP and Sinn Féin failed to form a power sharing executive in Northern Ireland. On Tuesday, Scottish Parliament voted in favour of a second independence referendum. On Wednesday, Theresa May triggered Article 50. On Thursday, David Davis shared plans that would allow the government to amend or repeal EU legislation without scrutiny. On Friday, the EU suggested that Spain should be given a veto over any trade deal with Gibraltar.
Add to that then, a weekend which, due to the absence of any official government business, allowed conjecture to run rife. On Sunday, a former Tory leader was threatening Spain with war and a right-wing broadsheet reported on the battle readiness of our naval fleet. Maybe those Green Party plans for a three-day weekend aren’t such a good idea because by Monday, we could have had ships positioned on the Bay of Biscay.
On triggering Article 50, Theresa May set out a vision for a global Britain, that would act as a ‘best friend and neighbour to our European partners’. Yet just fours days later, there are some that want us to become the neighbour from hell, crassly invoking the Falklands War in an attempt to cast May in the image of their beloved Margaret Thatcher. These are the same rabid hard right-wingers who want to see the return of the Royal Yacht Britannia because all you need to secure a trade deal is to get the Queen to turn up in a great, big, shinny boat. And let’s not even get started on the much heralded return of the fabled blue passport.
Let us be clear. These are nothing more than the indulgent fantasies of a group of intellectually bankrupt men, who can only look to the past to address the challenges we face now and in the future. The late nineteenth century has called. It wants its jingoism back. If we are going to get though the next two years of Brexit negations, we are going to need to see a damned sight more grown-up, level-headed and modern day thinking. Frankly, given the challenges the last week alone has thrown up, our country deserves better.