The Weekly Brexit: Article 50, Initiate

Niall Flynn /
Mar 29, 2017 / Opinion

March 29th, 2017. Lovely day for a triggering.

This morning, Theresa May signed the letter that will formally begin the UK’s departure from the European Union, giving official notice under Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty. The letter will eventually reach European Council president Donald Tusk and negotiation guidelines will be published. Face-to-face talks between Britain and the EU look set to commence at the beginning of summer.

So it’s happening – and it’s happening soon. We’ve set the ball rolling and the great game is in place. Theresa May’s government have initiated Brexit. The noun has become a verb.

And let this be known: the UK’s looming departure from the EU, is, without doubt, a complete fucking farce. It’s stupid, selfish and sad; built upon the lies peddled by a group of people – also stupid, selfish and sad – to push forward their own interests and agendas.

There’s a symbolic kind of despair that comes with the fact that it’ll be a letter that initiates Brexit. That’s the direction we’re heading in, folks – letters. Quills, taverns, scotch, cigars and tweed; afternoon tea at the village hall after three hours of sentry duty; dry stone walls, waxed moustaches, white cliffs of dover, the war, the empire. Article 50 takes its name because that’s how many years it’ll have us regressing by – and then some. A fiercely modern country will become a painful anachronism, a beacon of unity will become inward, self-serving and strange.

But that’s what they want, you see, Farage, Davis and co. For that lot, this is every wet dream they’ve ever had, magnified on the most universal of scales. “Getting our country back” means getting their idea of county back, and what an odd, alien country they’ve dreamt up between the sheets. The only sovereignty anyone will be seeing is that of the Brexiteers, free to play out their archaic fantasies free of embarrassment and ridicule. “It’s gonna be great”.

As we head for our hard, white and blue Brexit, we do so with the very real knowledge that with it will come inequality, division, uncertainty and fear. Brexit was the most expensive prank anyone ever played – and at no point was it ever funny. Now, all we can do is continue to oppose the kind of world those who champion this spectacular brand of inwardness would like to see. Their agendas are contradictory and selfish; their thinking exclusively short-term.

For young, decent, modern, open-minded British people, this is where it all starts. A small, misguided group of people have a very specific idea of how they’d like Britain to look within the coming years, and it’s our job to make sure that doesn’t happen. This is where it all gets very real.

There’ll be no free rides from us – not now, not ever.

Over to you, Theresa.

Words by Niall Flynn

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