500 and some days – how is Brexit going for us?

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An excellent summary written by my friend Jane Berry.

All going to plan

• We have the spectacle of a constitutional tussle between The Speaker of the House and a Minister of State (David Davis) who EITHER lied (boasted) that he had 58 impact analyses when he didn’t OR is lying now, when he says they are not available as advertised. Or probably both. Whichever way, Davis is in contempt of Parliament, Mr Speaker is (justifiably) very cross, and he will (we hope, otherwise we really are no longer a Parliamentary democracy) have Parliament ‘take back control’ – because that was what we voted for. Or perhaps it wasn’t.

• The DUP are about to drop support for Theresa May (who hasn’t paid them a penny of their bribe yet, by the way) over Shrodinger’s Irish Border (which has to both exist and not exist). I’m no monarchist, but I think it serves her right for lying to an elderly lady, with a canny taste in hats, about having a government ready to form when she didn’t.

• Our Electoral Commission is finally investigating the funding of the Leave campaigns (see my cover photo for a handy diagram from the Guardian).

• Whatever you think about the Russian angle, separating the UK from the EU is Russian foreign policy, which explains why they channel funding to far-right groups (and anyone else who likes a hidden hand-out…)

• Crashing countries is also a lucrative business if you’re a New Zealand billionaire (Christopher Chandler, Legatum institute), a US billionaire (Robert Mercer, Cambridge Analytica), or a billionaire newspaper owner. The vultures and hyenas waiting to pick over poor little Britain include these Disaster Capitalists, the Russians and the Saudis – not exactly on the same side, but if you’ve seen scavengers co-operate, you get the picture.

• Then we have the Paradise Papers: tax-avoiding big names turning up, who, funnily enough, are the same names wanting a tax-haven-Brexit (Aaron Banks, a bunch of our own MPs, and allegedly some of Mr May’s business interests, which is awkward)

• Meanwhile, Britain is losing influence in its new ‘global market’ faster than you can say EURATOM (bye-bye nuclear fuel and cancer medicines); EMA (bye-bye quick access to new medicines), and EUROPOL (oh, hello criminal masterminds).

• And all those countries ‘queuing up’ for trade deals, the ones we were already free to trade with, who found us a handy stepping stone into the world’s biggest trade block? USA, Australia, Japan, China, India. Well, they are fast losing interest. Unless there is a big expansion in visas. Remember ‘freedom of movement’ – well, it turns out it often comes along with trade.

• There are those who don’t care if the banks and insurance and legal companies go – but might they notice car manufacturers, Lush Cosmetics, aerospace companies?

• Grimsby wants an exemption for fish; Cornwall and Wales will be losing their biggest meat markets, and no-one is picking the fruit.

• Disappearing EU staff are exacerbating the collapse of the NHS (but that will please the American vultures).

• But don’t worry! We can stay competitive by bringing in ‘a bonfire of regulations’, that’s workers’ and animal rights, environmental and food standards.

• …and the clock ticking because Mrs May triggered Article 50 and accidentally gave away any negotiating power she had for a conference soundbite.

• We’ve bought our ‘freedom’ though: £50 Billion to leave the world’s most successful peace project and biggest trading block, so we can negotiate a worse deal with no power to influence… in around 10 years’ time.

• So, do hurry up, if you’re joining the million skilled workers planning to leave, the 500,000+ who have applied for Irish passports (up by 50% by mid 2017), or the 1 in 5 EU doctors going. I’d book your flight quickly, because a hard Brexit will drop us out of the Open Skies agreement and your plane won’t take off.

• Oh, and don’t forget, the referendum was only advisory, the legal ‘decision’ to leave is probably wobbly in law and only 37% of the electorate actively chose ‘Leave’, whatever they thought that meant in the 10-week shouting match we were granted to make the most important political and constitutional decision in living memory.

I think that just about sums up the short version. Has anyone seen Boris?