Writing About Brexit: the future’s uncertain

EdinburghEye on Ko-FiThis was first posted on Facebook on 3rd January2020, with support from my Ko-Fi network.

I’m feeling overwhelmed by Ko-Fi and kindness.

I met my kofi target for writing about GE2019 in December, and am 9% of the way towards meeting my kofi target for writing about Stuff in January.

The next Ko-Fi day I plan to take is Thursday 9th January – the last day scheduled for debating Boris Johnson’s Withdrawal Agreement Bill.

But:

This bill is going to pass: Johnson has a majority of 80 MPs. That means we’re going to leave the EU on 31st January 2020, with an 11-month transition period between 1st February and 31st December.

What happens after that will be as much or more affected by what is happening outside Parliament as inside it: UK trade negotiatiors have to somehow negotiate a trade deal with the EU between February and November (it would then have to be ratified by all 27 EU countries). If the trade deal isn’t finalised by then (and no one thinks it can be), and Johnson doesn’t ask for an extension to the transition period before the end of June (and he has already said he won’t), then we crash out of the UK in No Deal Brext on 31st December 2020 (which is said to be the deal Johnson made with the European Research Group MPs so they’d vote for his Withdrawal Agreement Bill).

What will be going along at the same time as this is the Troubles in Northern Ireland, which may or may not lead to a unified Ireland in the long run, and the push for a second referendum for Scottish independence, which again, Johnson has said he won’t allow.

To be upfront with you:

I have no special expertise about Brussels or about trade negotiations. I have no special expertise or inside knowledge about Northern Ireland. I do have both expertise and knowledge about Scottish politics, but most of that leads me to think there likely isn’t going to be an indyref in 2020.

I’m happy to go on posting public posts about things I think about what is going on, and to take time out paid for by Kofi to read, watch, and think about things that are going on, but I don’t know how much added value there’s going to be in what I write: let’s see where we are at the end of January, OK?

Thanks to you all for what you’ve given in 2019.

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