Thursday, June 23rd, 2016: IMMIGRATION, CONTROL, BORDERS, MONEY, shrieked the Brexiteers, spurred on by a blood curdling rhetoric which was brandished across placards, vehicles, tabloids and radio shows, ringing like tinnitus as a populist chorus threatened to suffocate the air with the deafening clout of a mis-guided bludgeon. As dawn broke, a cautious sun rose over a nation divided, and a government derailed. The architect of this fateful referendum stood disheveled before the nation, a silent yet resounding fuck emanating from the last gasps of his ego as it retreated into the fresh ink of history.
With as much power as toddlers under the influence of teething pains, the bi-polar electorate looked to the future with a mixture of optimism and, contrarily, a profound sense of ill-justice. Brexit was up for adoption, and it was not a child for which anybody wanted to assume responsibility. As murmurs of a new leader echoed through the House of Commons, immigrants continued to walk the streets, Britons roamed freely across Europe, the pound floundered in a stormy sea, and the praise-seeking Brexit elite looped on the ecstasy of a victory for the little people.
When May, adrenaline pumping, reared her head up over the benches with all the trepidation of a thrill-seeker at Alton Towers, she was instantaneously bedazzled by the stardom of her newfound responsibility, tossing her support of the remain campaign into the now-disputed waters of the English channel, where it drowned in the midst of a heated scallop war. With the might of 51.89% democracy behind her, she wrenched the parliamentary steering wheel hard right: Brexit. Means. BREXIT.
A tumultuous and perpetual game of tug of war commenced between a bolshie terrier and a slightly confounded pack of wolves: As the Titanic was without lifeboats, Brexit was without a whitepaper to solidify its raison d’être, and so the 27 remaining EU member states along with the 48.11% of Brexit dissidents, watched on with a grave concern compensated only by a healthy dose of satire. At times, Brexit seemed diminished, appearing as an abstracted and opaque concept, or a night terror which eased upon waking…yet its shadow never quite faded, and it crept through the minds of British residents and EU citizens alike, resembling a nebulous shape off a murky coastline which slowly closed in upon the the shores in a dubious yet insistent manner.
As time passed, and the budget drained, Theresa tried in vain to negotiate a Brexit which drew profound and uncanny parallels with a European Union membership which was fast slipping out of reach. Brussels stood firm, yet gave Theresa free reign to explore a myriad of paths through a hostile and expansive field of wheat, none of which offered sign-posts, and most of which ended with a resounding ‘no’. Gridlock. Along the way; discerning academics, anxious business heads, skeptical ministers, curious diplomats, and effervescent artists chimed in with insights and foresight, most leading to the conclusion that Brexit was perhaps a little hasty and that its implementation may not in fact shower the British Isles in gold and rid it of self-imposed EU chains, within which it professed to be constrained.
Alas, Theresa was embroiled in Dorothy’s tornado and there was no turning back. She had stumbled down the Brexit-hole and was now spiraling in a room of doors which was seemingly devoid of the magic potion that could lead her forward. As public opinion dwindled, and parliament shifted uncomfortably in its seats, Theresa knew no better way than to hold on tightly to her grenade, propped up by a referendum which was now shrouded in doubt and lacking in virtue: the deal, her deal – it was the only way.
Brexit loomed close, and yet its composition grew evermore far-fetched. As the world looked on, the option for a second referendum beckoned invitingly from a far off realm, unable to reach Theresa, whom remained trapped below the ground in her universe of smoke and mirrors. As time ran towards the jagged precipice of the unknown, the rhetoric of the Brexiteers gurgled as quietly as a distant mountain stream, and the sighs of a thousand un-emancipated spirits uttered a grudging and ceaseless Christmas chorus: the people wants it, the people must have it.