The ‘Brexit Elections’ trap

The 12-D narrative is based on fallacies, such as the one that sells that formalize the exit will prioritize the domestic agenda


The generals of December 12 in the United Kingdom were coined as the 'Brexit Elections' before even being officially summoned, but after the slogan lies a fallacy that the British will unmask as soon as the new government launches itself to the fruitless task promised during the campaign: resolve the break with the European Union, either by formalizing the exit on January 31, as conservatives guarantee; or the second referendum sponsored by Labor.

After three and a half years of paralysis, the elections are presented as the panacea before a conflict that has monopolized the political capital north of the English Channel, phagocytizing both institutional and economic resources and torpedoing the internal unity of the parties.

The ‘Brexit Elections’ trap
The ‘Brexit Elections’ trap

The mantra 'Materialize the Brexit' ('Get Brexit Done', in its original version) that underpins the electoral appeal of Prime Minister Boris Johnson, conceals the reality of a divorce that has barely left the exit box and that, inevitably, It will take years to reach the end of the route.

Johnson's offer, breaking the blockade in exchange for hegemony in Westminster, is as simple as it is misleading; while the Labor proposal, which raises six months to renegotiate the agreement with Brussels and convene a new referendum, is simply unworkable. As a result, the British will go to the polls without any of the two main formations offered credible statements to the most important issue played in the elections.

The candidate for reelection, which polls are holding on Downing Street, still does not explain that even if he formalized Brexit on January 31, nothing will change in practice. Moreover, during the transition phase that would open, in principle, until the end of the year, the United Kingdom will be more exposed than ever to the feared vassalage, losing voice and vote on EU decisions, despite being obliged to comply with All its rules.


Therefore, the motto 'Materialize Brexit' is, in all likelihood, the biggest trap of the campaign and regardless of whether it works or, on the contrary, the Labor Jeremy Corbyn ends up challenging the polls, both are responsible for basing their strategies in chimeras, aided by the format of the frantic race for Number 10 and a cohort of candidates who hope that, by force of repeating slogans, they will be credible, in the face of objective evidence.

The incommensurability of a divorce that, so far, has defeated all those who have dared to try to resolve it does not frighten the 'premier', who insists that it is possible to close the framework of the future relationship before the deadline that ends on December 31, 2020. All the precedents suggest that it is simply unfeasible, given the dimensions of the challenge of lighting a commercial pact, in security, data exchange, research or fishing, areas sufficiently complicated separately to require years.

As proof, less detailed agreements such as those that Brussels sealed with Ukraine, South Korea, Japan, or Canada took between four and nine years, but the conservatives have dared to officially collect in their electoral program the promise of not extending the so-called phase of implementation, exposing itself to the same fate as the frustrated break “to life or death” on October 31, a deadline that would end up breaking, with the third exit delay.


Johnson argues that the understanding will be easy, starting from 46 years in common, but his preference for diverging from community regulations, compared to the regulatory alignment that his predecessor, Theresa May had bet on, will make negotiation extremely difficult. As if that were not enough, although the door is open to extend the transition one or two years, the decision has to be made before July 1 and, given the domestic political dynamics, it is difficult to imagine that the prime minister throws in the towel six months before .

Agreeing how to leave, in fact, supposedly constituted the simple part, above all, compared to the establishment of the future relationship, a process that, to further complicate the entrustment, will seriously test the hitherto iron unity of the EU, now that national interests will come into play for the first time.

To complete the obstacle course, the calendar also does not depend on the United Kingdom. The Treaty of Lisbon establishes in Article 218 that the final agreement will have to be ratified by twenty-seven national and some regional parliaments, which will necessarily impose their own times. If the case of Canada serves as an example, London could see how a mere region of a country as small as Belgium ends up paralyzing the process.


Labor, meanwhile, also plays its credibility when it promises to unlock the situation before July. Corbyn's plan involves renegotiating the agreement in three months, a reckless assumption, since it would not only require a new delay (although Brussels is difficult to refuse), but would require reopening a process that the Twenty-seven closed. In addition, the leader says he would remain neutral in the plebiscite promised below, a complicated position to defend against the most momentous debate faced by the United Kingdom in recent history.

In its favor, the opposition has that the EU looks better at its commitment to a soft Brexit, but to settle the talks and call a referendum in June is materially impossible, according to the consensus of constitutional experts and community analysts, especially when the party it lacks a unitary position in the matter and it has been limited to postpone the decision until after the general ones.

It is also questionable his great campaign argument, which maintains that Boris Johnson plans to use the National Health Service (NHS), one of the sacrosanct institutions north of the Canal, as a currency for a trade pact with the United States

The slogan “is not for sale” has become a hymn in Labor rallies, although there is no irrefutable evidence to support such a claim and Boris Johnson is aware that playing with the NHS would constitute political suicide.

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