We’ve been following the slow crisis of Brexit here at Rouges. You can see our previous coverage here and here. In case you’ve been living under a rock, in 2016, David Cameron put a referendum on EU membership to the people of the United Kingdom and in a stunning upset, the UK voted, in a non-binding resolution to leave the European Union of which it had been a part since 1979 in the earliest days of the modern incarnation of the European Union.

The Deal

So far, it has taken two years to get the point where the UK and EU have a tentative deal. David Cameron abandoned #10 after the vote, which he didn’t even agree with, and left the party in the hands of Brexiteer conservatives and what was left of UKIP. Then they had a general election in which the Tory’s had to shovel billions of pounds to the DUP of Northern Ireland to get a majority and in which they all ran on Brexit as a policy. Labour was no better during that election as they agreed to move Brexit forward, but Corbyn ran on a far more progressive platform on domestic policy.

After that general election, Theresa May has brought her deal to Parliament 3 times, and it’s been voted down three times in landslides against her. In between these huge losses, Parliament held indicative votes to see what direction the House would take. However, no pathway was selected. They could have voted for any of the following:

  • A Second Referendum
  • Revokation of Article 50
  • A Hard Brexit (no deal, just drop out)
  • Customs Union
  • A deal with no backstop for Northern Ireland

But the House of Commons voted for none of these things. So Theresa May is back for a fourth time with her deal after the EU granted 2 extensions. The first extension lasted until April 12 and the second until 31 October. The new deal isn’t that different from the last. The backstop has been tweaked so that hopefully it would never be used. The customs union hasn’t changed too much and the only new part is that if the deal was approved, there would be a 2nd referendum to please those who believe the British people deserve a chance to vote on the reality of Brexit.

Now What’s Going on?

Now there is an argument for a General Election to decide which party should lead this effort. May is also under fire from her own party. She has even offered to resign to get the deal through. After some wrangling she agreed to resign in late May. Today is her last day as leader of the Conservative party. She will stay on until the next PM is selected. The next PM is likely to take a harder stance on Brexit.

There are still unresolved issues around the Customs Union and the Northern Irish backstop. Any sort of border between Ireland and Northern Ireland (the portion of Ireland still apart of the UK) would immediately destroy the historic peace in the area and effectively ruin the Good Friday Belfast Agreement. Brexit is a disaster. It’s been proven that the UK will be a net loser from the idea, so why are so many people still pushing for something that many see as a terrible idea?

Tax Haven?

However, Steven Fry has come across the real reason so many are pushing for Brexit, particularly the damaging no-deal Brexit.