Home Editorials Brexit Mess

Brexit Mess


There is ever so much clarity in an ex-colonial power like Britain when it comes to commenting on other countries’ affairs and the ways these should be handled, but it could do with some advice on how to handle the Brexit imbroglio. It has been some time before anything like ‘leadership’ has been witnessed in that country, as democracy and its functions have been ritualised to the point of utter ineffectiveness. The confusion that reigns on what to do and what the people want is so great that the political parties and Parliament have become the laughing stock of the world. Most certainly, the House of Commons is no longer a model for other democracies to follow. These are the people who would like to tell China how to deal with Hong Kong, and India how it should manage the Kashmir situation. In fact, the restraint displayed by a ‘totalitarian’ regime like China in dealing with the protests, as well as the flexibility in withdrawing the controversial Extradition Bill, would make any democracy proud. Brexit, of course, is a made up crisis that could have been easily avoided had there been better judgement in British politicians. Considering the many divisions in Parliament, it should be simple to hold another referendum to see if the people have changed their mind. Additionally, some of the difficult options could be listed on the vote to get a sense of the public mandate. This would help politicians decide on which version of the disengagement to support, should the people still favour Brexit. Actually, having seen the complications involved, it would not be surprising if the people rule otherwise. Clearly the Brits are in the throes of an existential crisis of which the Brexit sentiment is just a part. The political culture and society at large have become overwhelmed by the challenges posed by immigration and the much vaunted multiculturalism. The desire to be politically correct has forced upon the people artificial situations that require compromising on their sense of identity. Unable to express this electorally because of the much-divided politics, people preferred to blame their woes on the European Union. Now they are discovering that this was not the case at all, and Brexit is not the solution to this underlying identity crisis. In fact, the union would have helped them face their travails better. Britain is in a mess, but it is too proud to admit it, for how would the colonials react?