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Home / Inside fDi / Inside fDi: A self-inflicted kick in the Brexits

"Brexit means Brexit," UK prime minister Theresa May would repeat when asked to flesh out details of how the UK would leave the EU. But, as Jacopo Dettoni opines, no one – not even Ozzy Osbourne – seems to know what Brexit really means as the deadline hurtles ever closer.

Brexit has not happened yet, but a movie already exists about the subject. A Channel 4 production features Benedict Cumberbatch as Dominic Cummings, the mastermind behind the Vote Leave campaign that pulled off one of the biggest political upsets in modern history.  

Almost three years have gone by, and Mr Cummings (the real one) is nowhere to be found. He has cut any involvement in national politics, and spends his time writing rare blog posts mostly about machine learning.

Mr Cummings is no exception, as many high-profile Leave campaigners have fallen into the margins of national politics. Boris Johnson sits amongst other backbenchers of the Conservative Party after a brief stint as foreign secretary. Michael Gove and Andrea Leadsom have held on to their places in cabinet, but have failed to turn their Leave backing into solid political gain. Nigel Farage, who spearheaded another front of the Leave campaign, left his role as the leader of the UK Independence Party (better known as UKIP) and did not even contest a seat in parliament in the 2017 snap general elections. He now hosts a radio show.

With hardcore Brexiteers at the margins of the Brexit debate, the talks led by Theresa May, the remainer Conservative called to “deliver the best possible deal” in the aftermath of the referendum, are seemingly meandering along without going anywhere. In fact, Ms May has been repeatedly humiliated in Parliament, where the divorce deal she agreed with the EU could not garner the support needed to pass through the House of Commons. A no-deal Brexit now appears around the corner as the March 29 deadline approaches.

The millions of voters around the country that voted 'Leave', be it to revive past glories or embrace a better future, are suffering the consequences of this political impasse. They voted to take back control, and are more powerless than ever as London is locked in never-ending Brexit talks while the country’s economic divide grows.

Investors, at least, have the option to relocate or keep development plans on hold. Many are doing so, depressing investment across the UK. London is an exception. Its financial industry took a minor hit, but fresh investment by the tech companies that are designing and engineering our all-IT future, the likes of Google, Facebook, Apple and Samsung, keep the city’s appeal raised high.

It is hard to fathom at what point of the whole Brexit process the UK managed to lose its status as a global benchmark for stability and good governance. Some blame David Cameron for calling the referendum in the first place. Others blame the Leave campaign, accusing it of subtly misleading voters. Others still point the finger at Theresa May, who has stubbornly ploughed ahead with her "red, white and blue Brexit", seemingly ignoring all but a few close confidantes.

Or, perhaps, the purely emotional nature of the 'take back control' argument leaves little room for an analytical interpretation. When asked about Brexit, LA-based, Birmingham-born heavy metal legend turned reality show star Ozzy Osbourne replied: “I don’t really understand Brexit.” Well Ozzy, you're not the only one. 

Jacopo Dettoni is the acting editor of fDi Magazine.

This article is sourced from fDi Magazine
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