No respite from po­lit­i­cal up­heavals

The Oban Times - - Letters -

Sir, So af­ter the coun­cil elec­tions, we had the gen­eral elec­tion so can we now look for­ward to some respite from the po­lit­i­cal process. Or can we? I am not so sure as, given the im­ple­men­ta­tion of Ar­ti­cle 50, we are now head­ing to ne­go­ti­a­tions with Europe re­gard­ing Brexit.

The bit that con­fuses me (and there are many) is the dif­fer­ence be­tween a hard and a soft Brexit. Does one take longer to cook and, when fin­ished, needs some­thing else like may­on­naise to stop it be­ing too dry while the other is ready quicker but re­ally lacks any ma­te­rial sub­stance and, in fact, with­out the ad­di­tion of some salt and a piece of toast would be very bland?

To me, it is fairly sim­ple, re­gard­less of opin­ion in or out of Europe, the gov­ern­ment of the day (and if you lis­ten to the pun­dits, it could be that short) is about to en­ter long and com­pli­cated talks to get the best exit deal for the UK and on the other side of that ta­ble the Euro­pean Union who un­sur­pris­ingly will be try­ing to ne­go­ti­ate the best deal for Europe.

Where soft ver­sus hard be­comes a bit con­fus­ing is that un­til the talks be­gin and com­pro­mises are made throughout the process, we will have no idea where it will lead. All the po­lit­i­cal par­ties in the UK are telling us the deal they would get ... re­ally, I think Euro­peans might just have an opin­ion as well.

The way I see the po­lit­i­cal pos­tur­ing fol­low­ing the ref­er­en­dum is a bit like some peo­ple rock­ing up in Las Ve­gas for the first time, ap­proach­ing a poker ta­ble and telling the rest of the play­ers how they are go­ing to play. Then, once the game has started, show­ing the rest of the ta­ble your cards and ask­ing for ad­vice.

Fi­nally, since the trig­ger­ing of Ar­ti­cle 50, the clock is tick­ing and this process is sup­posed to take two years. Would it be cyn­i­cal to sug­gest that given it has taken eight years for Canada and Europe to come to a trad­ing agree­ment that runs to ap­prox­i­mately 1,600 pages, an agree­ment that is not only trade but ter­ri­to­rial, mi­gra­tory, le­gal and a mul­ti­tude of other ar­eas might take at least as long?

The Euro­pean elec­tions will be in June 2019.

If we are still ne­go­ti­at­ing that would mean in the­ory we are still a mem­ber. So do we get to vote again? Derek Con­nery, Chief ex­ec­u­tive, Bid4Oban.

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