Friday/ Brexit’s never-ending drama (that has to end March 29)

Cartoon from the Dutch newspaper ‘NRC Handelsblad’, titled ‘Eritreans in the Netherlands’. Says the Eritrean guy: ‘Brexit is especially difficult’. I think the joke is that the Eritrean guy has 100 other bigger things to worry about (as an immigrant), than Brexit. Brexit will be both good and bad for the Netherlands. Dutch people feel they will lose an ally in the Brits and will be ‘left alone’ with the German and the French, and trade relations with the UK will become more complicated. On the other hand, the port of Rotterdam, businesses and the economy might benefit from the UK leaving the EU.

It was a rough week for British Prime Minister Theresa May. She finally has a Brexit deal with the EU27 (European Union minus the UK), but now the hard-line Brexiteers in her own Conservative Party are revolting.  The deal has the UK stay in the European Union Customs Union, and parts of the single market. This way an international border and customs would not be needed between Ireland (Europe) and Northern Ireland (part of the UK).

The UK Parliament still has to approve the deal. Instead, the hard-liners are pushing for a no-deal Brexit. This ‘jumping over the cliff’ type of exit will have all kinds of economic and other repercussions.    Consumers, businesses and public bodies would have to respond immediately to changes as result of leaving the EU, and it’s unsure what controls will be put in place a the Ireland-Northern Ireland border.

What if Parliament does not approve the deal? Some say there may be a second referendum, then, already called the People’s Vote. (Pollsters say the Remain vote has shifted from 48% to 54% over the last 18 months).

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