Brexit brinkman­ship serves no one well

The Courier & Advertiser (Perth and Perthshire Edition) - - COMMENT -

In six months the United King­dom will leave the Euro­pean Union and all sides seem to be in­volved in brinkman­ship. Theresa May once again faces the pos­si­bil­ity of res­ig­na­tions from her Cab­i­net as she tries to find a com­pro­mise in her po­si­tion that will both please Brus­sels and sur­vive a vote in the House of Com­mons.

Mean­while, the Demo­cratic Union­ist Party con­tin­u­ally churns out threats of ac­tion that would amount to bring­ing down the Prime Min­is­ter’s ad­min­is­tra­tion, per­haps prov­ing Machi­avelli was cor­rect to say: “Mer­ce­nar­ies and aux­il­iaries are use­less and dan­ger­ous; and if one holds his state based on these arms, he will stand nei­ther firm nor safe.”

We re­veal to­day that EU of­fi­cials are warn­ing of the threat to ru­ral com­mu­ni­ties if fund­ing cur­rently ad­min­is­tered by the bloc is not matched by the UK Govern­ment af­ter next March. This is no doubt an­other move by some within the bloc to ma­noeu­vre it­self into a bet­ter ne­go­ti­at­ing po­si­tion.

Real lives will feel the ef­fect of po­lit­i­cal games, how­ever. Our ru­ral econ­omy is vi­tal not just for those farm­ers and their fam­i­lies who de­pend di­rectly on it but for lo­cal high streets, shops and sup­pli­ers.

Ne­go­ti­a­tions are close to con­clu­sion one way or an­other, then it will be over to elected politi­cians in Lon­don and Brus­sels. All must con­sider how their votes will im­pact on the peo­ple they are paid to serve, their con­stituents.

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