And, with the smallest of whimpers of protest, that was that. Brexit, it is confirmed, is happening on the 31st of January.
With Johnson’s huge, throbbing electoral majority, Brexit was always going to pass through Parliament. That’s what the General Election was, after all – the Tories seeking a mandate for Brexit. And my goodness me, they got it.
This week, it was set in stone. The Withdrawal Agreement Bill, or WAB, the legislative bellend that proved so impossibly hard for Theresa May to pass, was brought back to Parliament for a final time.
It got a majority of 99. By law, Brexit will now happen.
So, that’s that then. Brexit happens at the end of the month, the people get what they want, Britain becomes opened up to a world of opportunity, and we all march off into the sunset, right?
Sure. And I’m going to live to 120 and headline Glastonbury 2025.
Unfortunately for those as fascinated by politics as me, we’re about to return to normality. The last year, especially, has been absolutely bloody bonkers, with every Parliamentary vote on a knife-edge and a real mystery as to who will win.
Our political system isn’t meant to be like that. At all. In the months before the General Election, our politics was like a hippopotamus on LSD – unpredictable, a bit dangerous, but bloody good fun to watch.
Now, though, Parliament is back to normal – an old goat in a field, plodding about, keeping the grass short, predictable yet quirky.
Our system is built for one party to have a majority, like Johnson does now. He and the Tories can do whatever they want, unopposed, for the next five years. Then, at the next election, we can look back at what they’ve achieved (or haven’t achieved) and decide to stick or twist…
Yesterday’s vote on the Withdrawal Agreement Bill is a perfect example of this – in a hung Parliament, May was unable to get the numbers to pass the Bill. Within her own ranks, there were enough mutineers (e.g. even bigger bellends) that disagreed with her version of Brexit.
No more though. Even if Johnson had suffered any traitors (he didn’t), he would still have passed it comfortably.
The ERG have fallen into line because they have no power anymore (they’re not needed for a majority), the hardline anti-Brexiteers have either changed their tunes or been turfed out and lost their seats, and the Opposition is a shambles.
Johnson’s power is absolute. All hail Johnson, etc.
Jozzly Bob Can Still Cock It Up
I know I’ve spoken about this already. In short, my point is that Brexit could be such an absolute shitshow that the whole thing could backfire, massively.
But it’s worth noting that Johnson, so far, has taken absolute control over the story. Was the WAB being passed front-page news?
Was it balls – leave that to the star cross’d lovers, Harry and Meghan, who are bowing out from front-line Royal Duty because our press is sickening.
Anyway, back to my point – the WAB was nowhere to be seen, and nor was politics.
The Tories have quietly removed some of the rights of EU citizens since their getting into power, and, sadly, this is where we’re at now – Johnson controlling the story, very little accountability in the press, and pretty hard-right policies flying under the radar.
All we can do is take note, measure their policies, and hold them to account when it all fails miserably.
We’re not quite sure what our quality/quantity output will be here at BTL Towers. A new dawn of politics means a different kind of urgency, and one that also screams “PLEASE GOD, NO MORE POLITICS, WE CAN’T TAKE ANYMORE.”
BTL will still be here, but the frequency might change a touch. We will, of course, keep you abreast of any changes.
Godspeed, readers. Have a lovely weekend and brace yourselves.
Brexit, at long last, is coming. And it is inevitable.
And it’s still a stupid bloody idea.