So now Teresa May is safe from her own side for a year at least. It is rumoured she had to promise not to try to lead the Tories into tHe next election ... though if you look carefully at what she said - it was that she would not lead the Tories in the next election in 2022, she never said anything about a 2019 election. Anyway, it wouldn't be the first time she did an about turn and changed her mind.
So where are we now? We know that May is safe from the hard line ERG group, but not necessarily from a 'no confidence' vote from the opposition in parliament. We know that almost certainly her current deal will be rejected even if there are a few last minute tweaks. We know that Teresa has refused to even countenance a second referendum and the truth be told we cannot be certain that even that would solve the Brexit problem. Firstly there is the matter of what the questions would be and then there is the matter of whether or not the result would even be accepted. We also know that the clock is counting down to March 29th, the (so called) dooms day. As it stands the law says UK will be out of the EU and with no safety net. A 'NO DEAL' end of the world Brexit. People will start dyeing in the hospitals, and there will be hunger, thunderbolts and lightning - very very frightening.
Yeah right! We are asked to accept that business, really big business will just accept the status quo. Take a look at the exchange rate and the FTSE 100 and FTSE 250. Indicators supposedly of the faith people have in the state of the economy. It has dropped considerably in the last few days, but frankly it can go to pre-collapse levels inside of 24 hours. Why? Because I believe that in the final analysis these indicators are no longer true guides to the state of the economy because they have become the finance world's casino. They only represent the level of speculation. [I have a whole separate speech on that but that's for another day.] The powers that be will find a way to extend the period - maybe just to soften the exit mechanism. But I will guarantee you this much.
Firstly, the world is forewarned, and Britain's position as favoured gateway to the EU due mainly to its language - is gone. By definition, those using Britain to manufacture or simply to supply the EU will have to find continental alternatives.
Secondly, Britain at least had some say in the setting of standards for the EU and itself. Now, either they will simply have to take what the EU dishes out or else find that gradually its standards are different.
Thirdly, UK as indeed the EU will be poorer. Leaving aside the effect on the EU, those that will pay the bill will be those least able to cope. This at a time (almost) of national crisis for the public sector and the welfare state. Hospitals with ever increasing shortages of staff. Far less cash available for NHS and police, army etc. Fishermen that may or may not control their own fishing grounds but will certainly find that they are hampered trying to sell to their biggest markets the Europeans. Farmers that have been promised they would be looked after, but in a free market they would have to compete with dirt cheap imports and rely ever more heavily on subsidies - that may or may not be forthcoming.
Fourthly, manufacturing, already starved of investment for years, finding the trend will continue and a growing reliance on cheap labour to make up for the lack of modern day machines etc. Productivity will be even worse than it is now.
Finally, there is the question of what would happen to Northern Ireland, Scotland and even Gibraltar. My opinion remains as it has always been. Without the EU, England will not be able to sustain them satisfactorily, meaning they will tend to get poorer at a faster rate than the rest of the UK. How long before they want their independence?
Great empires don't die with a bang - they die with a whimper. Like a candle they just grow dimmer, until they finally they go out. Just take a look at good old US of A. For all his bluster about being king of the mountain, having inherited an economy that was on its way up - there is now talk of return to recession.
NOBODY - BUT NOBODY CAN GO IT ALONE!