Farewell 2016

Whatever the ups and downs of your personal life in 2016, politically the year will always be remembered for two protest votes: Brexit and Trump.

The UK is drifting out of the EU with all the direction of a rudderless ship. No-one has a scoobie about what deal we’ll end up with, least of all the Three Brexiteers, who appear on TV with beaming, shiny faces to reassure us that everything is okay, and a desire not to answer any awkward questions. Liam Fox, interviewed by Andrew Marr, was asked about some EU figures – “I don’t recognise them” said Fox breezily, and proceeded to waffle his way out of the studio. David Davis does the same, but at least he’s “having fun” talking to the Brussels bureaucrats. And Boris, our Foreign Secretary, is, well, Boris.

We haven’t even triggered Article 50 yet, and then it will be a couple of years before we actually leave the EU. John Redwood, another bright star in the Leave firmament, treated us to the following insight into the EU-UK trade negotiations: “they need us more than we need them”. What planet is he living on? For those interested in a serious study of the longer term effects of Brexit, take a look at the Treasury Report (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/hm-treasury-analysis-the-long-term-economic-impact-of-eu-membership-and-the-alternatives), which was rubbished by Bojo and “we’ve had enough of experts” Gove but still remains a far more credible analysis than anything offered by the Leavers.

If Brexit is a disaster, Trump is a catastrophe, but at least the US people have an opportunity to vote him out come the next presidential election. But Brexit means Brexit, and Brexit will be for life. Och weel, I’d like to be more positive, but have a happy New Year anyway.