Are we all sitting comfortably? Because it’s that time of the week again, folks.
Remember that part of your life when Brexit wasn’t an omnipresence? No, me neither. But I’m sure that there was one. I’m fairly certain I didn’t utter my first “Brexit” until I was at least 20 years-old, which leaves a fairly elongated period having existed prior to full, Brexited consciousness. I’ve used the word three times already. Usually, that kind of thing would be rectified during a final proof read and edit, but on this occasion, the triple Brex remains. It seems apt. Brexit is everywhere. The writing may as well echo that.
Had you asked the 19 year-old me his thoughts on Brexit, he’d probably have assumed it was some kind of cereal. Or perhaps a party drug. You’d be surprised how interchangeable those things can be. Either way, he wouldn’t have called Britain’s departure from the European Union as the bingo definition. Now, you can’t close your eyes to sleep at night without having experienced B-word ubiquity. We’re all getting our recommended daily portion of Brexit, whether we like it or not. This week’s episodic helping sees the Government begin its Supreme Court appeal, arguing its right to trigger Article 50 without consent. This is bureaucracy at its most potent. This is so 2016.
So, let’s break it down. Theresa May and co believe they have the right to begin formally leaving the EU whenever they so please. They reckon it’d be “lawful” use of “fundamental” powers to trigger Article 50 without parliament’s consent. There’s your red corner. The blue corner – a group of campaigners led by investment manager Gina Miller and hairdresser Deir Dos Santos – think that the decision can only be taken by parliament. Ms Miller took her claim to the High Court and won, leading to universal Brexiteer outcry and the right wing press socking it to the judges in question with expected toxicity. The government appealed the ruling, which is why we find ourselves here today. The British legal system is essentially a recreation of the whole “I’m gonna get my older brother on you” process. If you don’t like what a certain court has done to you, you can call on a bigger, badder court to try and sort it out. Eventually, they do run out of courts, but then again, you tend to run out of brothers, too – so fuck off, it works. Anyhow, it’s now with the Supremes.
The hearing is expected to last around four days, with a final decision expected in January. As with the cases’s nature, public interest is high. Additional seating has been added, allowing 115 members of the public into the courtroom to watch proceedings unfold, while over 80 journalists will also find themselves in attendance. It’s one of the most important ever cases of its kind, but with the promise big crowds and relentless, snappy back-and-forth, it’s pretty much the political equivalent of Wimbledon, only without the key ingredient of fun.
Popular to contrary belief, Brexits do, apparently, grow on trees. The latest twist in the post-referendum narrative won’t be the last, regardless of which side comes away as victorious. Since 23rd June, the whole process has come to embody a weird contradiction; nothing’s happening, but it’s not going anywhere either. Don’t expect that to change any time soon. We’re resigned to doing this for a lot longer. Why? Because it’s much more convenient to spend your time arguing your right to do something rather than doing it. If ever you find yourself fretting due to your complete ignorance on what’s going to happen with the old Brexit, count yourself lucky – Theresa May has the same problem. So, to conclude, there’s been no change. It’s been almost five months, and nobody is any the wiser. We don’t have a fucking clue and nor do they. No change there, then.
This has been your Weekly Brexit, goodnight.
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Words by Niall Flynn