[First published by The Clare People on March 26, 2019]
We all know how the song goes. You put your right foot in, you take your right foot out, you put your right foot in, and you shake it all about. You do the hokey pokey, and you turn yourself around. So now we know. That’s what it’s all about. Brexit and all that. Just like the classic epic lyrics, Britain’s tangled relationship with the rest of Europe is in out, in out, and our nearest neighbours are certainly shaking it all about. The original deadline for Britain to leave the European Union should have been this Friday, March 29, but with over a million people gathering in London over the weekend demanding a second Brexit vote, the defining prophetic old time children’s favourite could have been ahead of its time. Left arm in, left arm out.. Right arm in, right arm out. We know now that come this Friday, Britain will still be in, but whether their left arm is out, their right arm is in, is still up in the air as a previously unimaginable no-Brexit deal remains on the cards. When it come to world politics, Britain certainly has a very long history of shaking it all about, but as Brexit deadline day looms, it seems that the EU are now in the driving seat and seem to be calling the shots. British Prime Minister Theresa May has now secured a little more time from the EU to find a suitable deal that both parties agree on, but her request for a June 30 deadline is now out of the question. If May can get British parliamentarians to approve her withdrawal agreement within the next week, she can have until May 22 to finalise the deal. If those in power continue to reject the proposed withdrawal agreement, the deadline will be April 12 – which could prove to be the dreaded no-Brexit day. So come, April 12 or May 22, will the UK be in or out? Only time will tell, but one thing that is guaranteed is that our British counterparts will unquestionably shake it all about. A no-deal Brexit would undoubtedly prove a disaster for Ireland, especially those living in counties bordering Northern Ireland. After numerous false dawns and reports of Brexit breakthroughs, at least now we know that an end is in sight, but what that means is yet to be seen. Those in power certainly don’t know the outcome, so for now we can only speculate if or what the eventual outcome will be.