European and British flag

What amazes me is how in the last bastion (no, not France) an established, effective political democracy becomes a shambles in the UK over the aftermath of a referendum. Overnight we saw the political structures crumble due to blatant misrepresentation and weak leadership. Personal survival culled with the Ides of March (the stabbing in the back of Boris) has British politics in the worst turmoil for a 100 years.

If there is such a thing as the longest suicide note in history, it’s the UK who has written it. Or have they? The EU has at long last woken up to the nightmare that the people of Europe need to be more convinced that being in the EU has serious benefits. The EU has been giving grants and support to improve many a country, for example, Ireland, Spain and Poland. This help propelled the economies of these countries but in some cases it went out of kilter.

Having lost their principal ally in the UK there is now the VISEGRAD group of countries, including Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia who are seeking changes to the structure of the EU which would take control and direction away from those hardcore founding fathers. This is made more acute when the fathers in question meet at the exclusion of the others. Nobody signed up to be governed by Brussels.

The saying “If it’s raining soup and they come out with forks”, refers to the needs of the UK in 2016 when the country had the second best economic growth rate in the EU and one of the lowest unemployment rates but still the people voted to exit, which was exactly what we did not need. The referendum and subsequent outcome was to protect individual egos and political careers. Unfortunately Cameron got it wrong. But so did the others.

3 million non-British (defining British can be an interesting proposition, eg. if they are joint passport holders) people living in the UK are from the EU, many keeping our hospitals, transport and services industries going. It’s clear that, whatever happens with UK politics, these people will have the right to continue living in the UK, but let’s hope there are some conditions imposed upon them: paying their taxes, not receiving dole payments and no other benefits unless they have contributed to the country.1.2 million Brits lived in mainland EU and a further four million elsewhere in the world. Now, according to Migrant Watch, there are 8 million foreigners, that is, people who were born outside of the UK but living in the UK. These people are not, however, all foreign citizens despite being born abroad. Some have parents with British passports whilst others have resided in the UK for the required number of years to apply for and receive a British passport. The newly elected Mayor of London who is of Pakistani origin was born in New York and is a citizen of the UK.

There are 2-words epigrams or etymologies that describe a derivative of adages such as Murphy’s Law – “anything that can go wrong will go wrong”; Hobson’s Choice – “take what’s available or take nothing at all; Buckley’s Chance which means no chance at all and finally Sturgeon’s Law which states “90% of everything is crap.”

Now thanks to the Gang of Four – Boris, Gove, Farage and Corbyn we can add four new adages:

  • Boris’s Law –“The captain abandoning ship when it’s about to sink“; clearly he has never listened to Dido’s White Flat lyrics “I shall go down with this ship and I won’t put my hands up and surrender”.
  • Gove’s Law –“Stabbing someone in the back so you can take the power“; the problem with this is you need to watch your back.
  • Farage’s Law – “Winning then quitting“; got what he wanted and then took his bat and ball and went home.
  • Corbyn’s Mule – very determined not to change his decision to stay as Leader despite repeated requests to resign. His new mantra, taken from Churchill’s famous speech: “Never, never, never, give up”.

So, as Britain moves towards finalising its exit from the EU, is the future for many Brits moving to and taking residence in another country? For me, I made my choice long ago. I’ll always be British but I cannot live in the UK. That does not stop me wishing Britain and its occupants, whatever their background, race, and religion, all the best. And like all divorces I hope the separation is as amicable as possible.

Finally, there are lessons for all to be learned from the EU referendum debacle. And in learning these lessons I would recommend you follow advice given to me by my boss when I was a young lad starting out: “always remain on the board of play and never attempt winning from impossible positions.” Valuable advice indeed! And not just in the commercial world, but the political world as well.