"Kicking The Can Down The Road Forever": Nobody In Charge Wants 2019 To Actually Begin | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


"Kicking The Can Down The Road Forever": Nobody In Charge Wants 2019 To Actually Begin

As we crawl towards the end of Q1 it becomes evident that the main theme for 2019, besides appalling far-right violence, is that nobody in charge wants 2019 to actually begin. What do I mean by that? That all we see everywhere is can-kicking rather than decision making.

For example, look at Brexit. After last week’s drama of the UK having now said No to EU membership, No to PM May’s Withdrawal Deal, No to No Deal, No to a second referendum, and No to Parliament testing out alternatives to May’s deal, this week we are either going to see May’s deal reheated and presented once again, like old school dinners, if she feels that she has managed to win over enough rebels; or we are going to see May proceed straight to asking for an extension of Article 50 from the EU summit on Thursday. In that case, is Brexit delayed until 30 June, as now being bandied about, or for a year, or for two years, or effectively forever? Who knows? I would argue that the shorter the length the can is kicked, the larger the threat of Hard Brexit remains, but regardless, this lady is now for kicking. No underlying problems are being solved, however. Even some of the Brexiteers now saying they will back May’s Deal say this is merely tactical, to allow for further sabotage later. (Oh, and Labour’s idea of a “People’s Vote” on the deal is equally mad: how is the EU to deal with the UK passing the Withdrawal Agreement – but only contingent on another referendum months from now?!)

For a second example, look at UK-China trade relations. The news from the South China Morning Post today is that the Trump-Xi summit to sign this “trade deal” --on which I have been voluble in my scepticism-- is now not going to take place in March, or even in April. Now it is apparently going to happen in June. The reason? The same one that led to my scepticism: no agreement from China on the structure of enforcement mechanisms that will mean the deal means something. Of course, that is also epic can-kicking.

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