It’s been a few days since my last Brexit post.
Things seemed to calm down a bit on Friday, the day after the Gove power move. The weather was nice. A double rainbow appeared here in London. We think.
City of London activates emergency forcefield pic.twitter.com/pm73VHh2VJ
— (((Toby Nangle))) (@toby_n) July 1, 2016
Brexit was beginning to feel like a lived-in reality rather than the energy source for an ongoing panic attack. Friday was probably the first day since the referendum result that didn’t feel like this for me:
when you're expecting to wake up to a peaceful morning online pic.twitter.com/TRmra5tj10
— leon (@leyawn) June 30, 2016
I struggled to find something to write about among the news stories. The best I could come up with was this article about Liam Fox saying Britain needs “Brexit for grown-ups”
Conservative leadership contender Liam Fox today demanded “Brexit for grown-ups” as he blasted colleagues Boris Johnson and Michael Gove for their “Oxford Union politics”.
For a while this made me imagine Brexit as a modular kids’ toy system like Lego or Sticklebrix or Mega Blox. Up until now we had only been mucking around with the clunky Duplo version of Brexit, trying in vain to use its bulky, garish bricks to build a functioning economy and political system. In Liam Fox’s mind the problem wasn’t that we had Brexit at all: it was that we had the wrong type of Brexit and had to swap it for Brexit Technics or, even better, Brexit Mindstorms.
No-one cares what Liam Fox thinks now, though. He’s since withdrawn from the Tory leadership race after coming last in the vote among Conservative MPs. I guess we didn’t need Brexit for grown-ups after all—we’re having more than enough trouble with the baby version.
For example, Stephen Coltrane wrote a numbered series of tweets (a now-notorious trait of Brexit Britain) that outlined what might happen if Britain has to trade with the EU under WTO rules. Click the date below to read the whole thing.
It's starting to come home to me what a terrible thing #Brexit is. (Series of tweets follows, numbered for convenience.)
— Stephen Coltrane (@sjcoltrane) July 1, 2016
Another thing that happened on Friday was that the era of austerity came to an end. If that had happened two weeks or a year ago it would have dominated the news cycle for weeks, but in the context of Brexit hardly anyone noticed.
Hearing that Osborne will announce end of austerity measures. Makes sense given coming economic slowdown but big change in Tory econ policy
— Faiza Shaheen (@faizashaheen) July 1, 2016
On Saturday I went to the anti-Brexit march although I wasn’t there for long. My son, who’s four, feigned interest in the whole thing but was impatient to move on to the London Aquarium, the next item on our itinerary. It’s obligatory whenever you go on some march or demonstration in the UK to speak about it cynically – “well I doubt it’ll change anything” – but the value of the whole thing for me wasn’t based on the vain hope that Nigel Farage was going to walk by, experience a Damascene conversion upon seeing the assembled crowds, take to the podium, renounce his Euroscepticism and begin the reversal of Brexit. Instead, it was the visceral experience of seeing and being among such a large group of people who reject the insane logic and increasingly overt racism of Brexit Britain.
Speaking of Nigel Farage, on Monday he resigned as leader of UKIP.
Nigel Farage resigns. pic.twitter.com/Q58BQsNsPr
— dan barker (@danbarker) July 4, 2016
Loads of people were angry at him about that—“you made this mess, you help clear it up” was the consensus view—but it struck me as a little disingenuous coming from anyone other than a UKIP member. Would I have been happier to hear he’d taken a peerage and was going to be representing the UK in trade negotiations with Europe? Of course not. The further away from public life he gets, the better.
Not everyone was minded to celebrate Farage’s resignation:
Prediction. Three months from now UKIP will be overtly neo-Fascist party campaigning on repatriation & deportation. Mind your celebrations.
— Ally Fogg (@AllyFogg) July 4, 2016
Douglas Carswell, the only UKIP representative in the House of Commons, provided us with perhaps the most succinct tweet ever to be posted by a politician.
— Douglas Carswell MP (@DouglasCarswell) July 4, 2016
I wonder if Hansard has emoji support?
There was a lot of scepticism about whether Farage’s resignation could be taken at face value.
My old global affairs tutor on Farage: pic.twitter.com/kPSnPaioR7
— Sophie Warnes (@SophieWarnes) July 5, 2016
The key quote from this passage is “you cannot undo globalisation and multiculturalism – not peacefully anyway.”
The world of economics continued to act in accordance with the projections set out by much-derided experts ahead of the referendum. If only more people had listened to those experts.
….says the political editor of The Sun. If only a popular tabloid paper had printed some sort of warning, eh Tom? pic.twitter.com/BOmg83obBp
— Pointless Letters (@pointlesslettrs) July 5, 2016
The pound plunged to 31-year lows against the dollar.
— David Sheppard (@OilSheppard) July 5, 2016
Incidentally, it did take out $1.3055. In the small hours of July 6th it went below $1.30 and is now as low as it has been since The Crowd topped the charts with “You’ll Never Walk Alone”.
(Liverpool voted Remain btw)