Explaining Brexit to someone who's been in a coma since the night before the referendum
Thank God you're awake! You've been out cold since 22 June, 2016.
Frankly, the fact that you're alive is a miracle. You crashed your car while speeding and listening to popular 2016 hit song 'One Dance' by Drake. Yeah, yeah, don't worry, I'll let your family know you're up in a minute — they're all fine by the way — but first there's something we need to talk about. Eh, Brexit. Remember Brexit?
Yeah, I know what the exit polls said but once the results from Sunderland came in it was game over, really.
David Cameron? Yeah, no, he's gone. Resigned immediately. Same with George Osborne. Yeah, Theresa May's in charge actually. Though... it looks like she might have to resign today as well. They've called a vote of no confidence in her, so... anyway, settle down, we'll get back to that.
Brexit secretary was David Davis but he resigned over Brexit. Then it was a fella called Dominic Raab, but he also resigned over Brexit. Foreign secretary was Boris Johnson. He resigned over Brexit. Home secretary was Amber Rudd, and that's a funny story. She resigned, but that was just in disgrace. Jeremy Corbyn? Let me check. Still around, actually. You're right, that does seem like an oversight, but he's still tipping away.
Most importantly, it turns out that the whole "easiest deal in history" a lot of the Brexiters were talking about before the referendum? Not quite true. Oh speaking of which, £350 million for the NHS? That was a lie. Farage admitted that the morning after.
The deadline for a "Brexit deal" is 29 March, 2019. Three and a half months to go! The European Court of Justice says that the United Kingdom can actually unilaterally reverse the decision but they're not going to do that. Not exactly clear on why. I'll get answers for you but for now it's best that we plough ahead. There's a lot to get through.
So after more than two years, they finally struck a deal last month. Oh, sorry, November, 2018. Yeah, you've been out of it for a while, buddy, welcome back. Save your energy.
Now. The biggest obstacle in the way of Brexit these days is the prospect of a hard border across Ireland. I know it seemed like it was all about immigration until the vote actually happened but for whatever reason nobody actually talks about that at all anymore. It's almost like leaving the EU has had no bearing on the UK's ability to control its borders, eh? Eh? Don't feel like laughing? That's alright, you're probably still regaining a lot of very basic functions.
In actual fact, it's our own border with the UK that's the problem, since the minute they leave the customs union and single market we'll need to check roughly 30,000 vehicles crossing the border for work each day. We've been trying to tell them that customs checks on Irish soil tend to end in tears but they don't really seem to understand.
Now I know what you're thinking! Nobody brought up words like "backstop" or "hard border" before the referendum but since the ol' DUP came into power it's all anybody can talk about.
Oh right, you've not heard about the DUP. Okay. So what happened is that last summer Theresa May called a general election for some reason and fucked it up so bad that the Conservatives actually lost their overall majority, and so they had to rely on the DUP for a confidence and supply arrangement. You know, The DUP. Arlene Foster. Ian Paisley's son! Those guys! Hardline unionists, you've definitely heard of them. The lads who believe that the earth is 4,000 years old and that homosexuality is an abomination. Opposed the Good Friday Agreement. Could you calm down a bit? The high-tempo beeping from your heart monitor is very distracting.
I know, I know. Those guys are usually more of a Northern Ireland kind of thing but Stormont has been dissolved for a while. You missed that too. Yeah, hasn't been an assembly up there for almost two years now. We might actually want to leave that one for another day if we're going to get through Brexit before visiting hours are over.
From an Irish standpoint, we've actually done our best to help out but it hasn't gone very well. Last week, Priti Patel suggested threatening to starve us. Boris' dad has been making jokes about us all wanting to shoot each other. Here, you might want to bite down on something. One MP said that all English people were entitled to move to Ireland and get an Irish passport. Another said that you could use the pound sterling in Dublin. It's been a pretty eye-opening experience, all told.
They can barely even pronounce the Taoiseach's name! What? Who? No, it's Leo Varadkar now. God you've been out a long time. Though, now that I think of it, one MP struggled to pronounce Enda Kenny's name too.
We've all thought about it. There are certain things about every workplace that bother us and we wish were different, but I would never EVER pick up our company's ceremonial mace and try and walk away with it. There are certain lines that should not be crossed. He should resign. https://t.co/JDzYFMkOBR
— Michael Fry (@BigDirtyFry) December 10, 2018
It all reached a bit of a head this week when Theresa May postponed a parliament vote on her deal so she could reopen negotiations with Europe, who have refused to reopen negotiations. Eventually, one of the MPs got sick of it all and picked up a big medieval weapon in the middle of the House of Commons, but it immediately became clear he didn't know how to use it so he put it back down.
Here, look, he's written a thinkpiece in the Guardian about it that should sum it all up. "I'm proud I grabbed the parliamentary mace. Here's why."
So now they're officially trying to oust May. Tonight. What happens after that is actually anybody's guess. If she goes then they'll have no leader, no deal, no mandate and no path forward with less than four months until Brexit. If she stays... much the same.
It seems that now, at long last, the world is finally waking up to what the Irish have known since the time of Diarmuid Mac Murchada. That the English, at the level of their political elites, are a roving band of power-hungry posh-boy Dickensian vampires — who do not care a damn for the welfare of their own people, and actively disdain their neighbouring countries.
Anyway, if I were you I wouldn't fall back asleep for too long. All of this is subject to change entirely within the next eight hours.
Are you in pain? You look like you're in pain. Should I call the nurse? I'll get the nurse.