Friday, 15 March 2019

Consensus in the chaos?

I've tried to avoid discussing either Brexit or Trump as I find both topics deeply depressing. It's getting harder to avoid Brexit in the UK news as each day brings fresh demands and votes from the various sides. And apparently even Trump has weighed in with his opinion.

My husband has a Russian colleague based in Germany who has been trying to follow the news. "I don't understand it," he said. "Can you explain it?" He is not alone.

Whichever way you voted in the referendum, I find it hard to believe that you were expecting the level of uncertainty that we are currently enduring. Some people are not travelling in or out of the UK as they aren't sure how their plans will be affected since we don't know if we will be exiting the EU on 29th March or not, and if we do, whether there will be a deal of some sort. The exchange rate is suffering as traders in other currencies ditch their sterling for something more solid. Various companies are putting hiring plans on hold until they know which country will be their best option for a new HQ. People who *are* travelling after the end of March into Europe with their pets have had to organise certificates well in advance that weren't previously necessary - and may yet not be. These are just some of the repercussions of the uncertainty.

Two years from the triggering of Article 50 to resolve all the various legal and practical issues never seemed like very long to me. The suggestion that the current deal should be thrown out and replaced with a new one in the next two weeks is simply absurd. I've seen extensions of three months mentioned in the press - I fail to see how three months will help us to resolve something for which two years was insufficient.

In or out, I'm sure we can all agree on one thing: the current situation is a clusterfuck of monumental proportions, with no sign of imminent resolution.

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