The deal is done

UK and EU Chief Negotiators, David Frost and Michel Barnier, at an EU conference room. Photo credit: Reuters. Source: BBC

Come on remainer – recognise and celebrate the win. This is a great deal, a political triumph, proof that Boris and the Great Frost have held firm against Johnny Foreigner and we got a fantastic deal. We are free from the shackles of European rules and red tape interfering with the way we run our country. As Michael Gove said today: “The greatest prize, however, is the chance now to renew our country and help it to recover from the ravages of the Covid-19 pandemic in a spirit of shared endeavour and solidarity.”

I could rant as Europeans have been doing for 5 years. I can point out that Gove’s actions are all about putting an end to shared endeavour and that it is the EU 27 that have shown what solidarity means. I might counter the idea that the EU imposed mountains of red tape on the UK with solid evidence that it is the UK that is creating it. I can recite the Brexiters’ quotes — the easiest deal in history, holding all the cards, and all the rest of them. I can rage at the utter hypocrisy and shamelessness of the woman standing next to Johnson in front of the infamous £350 million for the NHS bus, German immigrant Gisela Stuart campaigning against German immigration. Kate Hoey, then a Labour MP, happily sharing a trip down the Thames with the bag of odiousness that is Nigel Farage, cheered on by racists everywhere (and protested by others).

But it’s all been said. And said better than I can say it again.

All I can say is that when I see Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Cummings-Johnson standing in front of 4 giant Union Flags spouting his crass xenophobia and claims that we are now better off, I feel a mixture of shame and revulsion.

I don’t know what’s next – no one does. I expect perpetual negotiation with Michel Barnier’s successors as we gradually repair the damage of Brexit, but it will take a generation to overcome the enormous divisions that Brexit has brought to the UK. Those who campaigned successfully to create division cannot seriously expect me to ‘get behind them.’ No.

I will not celebrate when leave voters lose their jobs because investment has switched to EU Member States just so I can say I told you so. I will recognise the good news when people do invest in Britain. There will be a mix of good news and bad – there always is – but it will be a long time before I volunteer my legal nationality.

Emotionally, I am stateless.

I remain proud to be European and salute the incredible patience and professionalism of M Barnier and his team. Bonne courage pour ton avenir.