Ask the question “Who is responsible for Brexit still being an issue today” and whoever you talk to, you’ll probably elicit the same response as the whole debate did nearly six years ago.
In fact, for some people the debate, question and whole issue simply isn’t settled. And after the comments made by Dominic Cummings in recent days that have inflamed the passions of unsatisfied Remainers, you wouldn’t be blamed for wondering if it ever will be.
Had you been able to get odds on the specifics of what Boris and his shotgun Cummings were actually up to in their dealings with the EU in the run up to the 2019 General Election, chances are that a punt on them agreeing to anything on a buy-now, pay-or-send-it-back-later footing just to ‘get Brexit done’, would always yield a great return. Naturally, like most things that happen behind the veil of government in this Country, you wouldn’t have got those odds, because there never would have been any certainty that anyone would ever know the truth.
Now that Cummings has blown apart any myth that still existed over the integrity of those particular negotiations, you might easily understand why the EU might now accuse the UK of acting in bad faith. It has certainly given good excuse to those still emotionally entrenched to the idealistic concept of EU Membership to argue that the UK should immediately be pushed straight back into EU hands.
Reality is made up not of just one, but at least three different truths. It is often constructed of many more. As a minimum, there’s the one side or perspective, the other, potentially many more, and then there’s the objective truth.
In the case of Brexit and where we are right now, there are at least four perspectives that should be considered before anyone gets too excited about who is actually right.
There are the Leavers, the Remainers, the EU, the key Influencers (politicians) – oh and last, but by no means least, there are the majority of voters too. And it is this last part of the Brexit equation that should always have been the one to really count when it came to the motivations and interpretations of the key influencers and any more besides.
Brexit was a great, democratically-made decision, taken by the British People. But it has been executed dreadfully by British Politicians on both the Remain and Leave sides.
This is where the real problem with Brexit and any practical fallout that may influencing or in some way contributing to the different shortages and growing list of crises we are experiencing today now lie.
Over a period of three years, this political class used every tool and bent every rule that they could to obfuscate and destroy any chance of the UK immediately developing a forward looking independent relationship between the UK and the EU. One that would really work and benefit us both in the way that continued Membership of the EU never would.
Subsequently, with the deck already stacked ridiculously in favour of the EU retaining powers over a fully independent UK that no foreign power should ever have, by dishonest Remain-obsessed MPs, the Johnson Administration took over with an overriding belief that similar acts of dishonesty and a lack of transparency were the only way to achieve what they wanted. It would appear to be the case that Cummings has effectively confirmed this week that they openly lied.
The whole thing is a real mess. One that right now could still have massive consequences for Northern Ireland as well as the wider UK.
It wasn’t the decision of the British People to reject Membership of the EU that was flawed. It has been the self-interest, stupidity and outright tomfoolery of our political classes from the moment that the Referendum Votes were counted and the result was announced, that have made a challenging situation look like it could be impossible to resolve.
There always were and still are very practical ways to resolve the issues over the Northern Ireland Border and how goods travel via the UK to the Irish Republic without invoking the need for all traffic to go by Sea, direct.
The proposals that have been tabled by Lord Frost this week and what it remains possible to do at a very practical level will hopefully mean that a genuinely workable Border and Customs arrangement can be put in place relatively quickly. One with a working operational model that is potentially so straightforward, future questions will be more along the lines of ‘why wasn’t this put on the table before.
The problem, as always when it comes to anything to do with Brexit, will be the obstacles and blind alleys created by those still committed to UK Membership of the EU.
Of these, not least of all will be those created by the autocratic EU itself, which is likely to continue to take every dishonest step that it can to bolster the cause of those who are still obsessive about Remain – or what we should perhaps now call ‘Return’.
Apparently having shot itself in the foot by taking steps to create the panic that led to the Fuel Shortages in recent weeks, the exclusion of influential Industry Groups with agendas like the Road Haulage Association from any discussions over what will practically work and what steps need to be taken to get the job done can only help the Governnment in the goal of finally getting Brexit done properly.
However, many obstacles to that most desirable outcome remain endemic within the public sector and our whole system of government.
The reality is that there will continue to be a requirement for a very serious level of single-mindedness and leadership if the best solution is to be found and implemented as quickly as possible, and there then to be a mutually shared recognition that the best way of working together for everyone has finally been found.