2018 will be looked upon as a critical year in Britain’s exit of the European Union. Whilst the entire Brexit saga appears to be frustratingly tedious, for the political nerds amongst us the rapid pace of these extraordinary negotiations has produced some highly memorable moments.
Before I crown the winner, some worthy contenders: Dominic Raab forgetting that we are an Island nation and therefore rely on ports; Theresa May’s weird 24 hour tour across Britain to celebrate 1 year until Brexit day; The government actually trying to argue that there will be a Brexit dividend; when Jacob Rees-Mogg revealed publicly that he couldn’t count to 48; when Karen Bradley, the Northern Ireland Secretary, revealed that she knew nothing about ..er.. Northern Ireland; Donald Trump arguing that he could have negotiated a better deal….when standing next to the Prime Minister; we’re getting a 50p coin to mark Brexit day (not 52p?); Donald Tusk bizarrely orchestrating a photo with the PM at Salzburg so he could troll her on Instagram; and finally, Labour still not agreeing on a Brexit position (seriously).
Close runner up goes to the extraordinary Salzburg summit in September, where the Prime Minister was savagely ambushed by the EU, but ended up backfiring spectacularly as the EU’s duplicit behaviour emboldened Eurosceptics everywhere. However, the Best Brexit moment of the year has to got to the definitive moment since May’s Lancaster House Speech in 2017, or maybe even since the Brexit vote itself. Yes the landmark Chequers agreement in July, when every news channel was camped outside a country estate and made attempted to make wild predictions about what was happening, since all ministers had their phones confiscated. This mini-break at the PM’ country residence essentially spelt out in black and white what the future relationship between the UK and EU would look like, and bar a few concessions is impressively similar to the final draft agreement and declaration, despite the plan getting brutally savaged by the EU at Salzburg. Heightening the excitement of this extraordinary weekend was the avalanche of resignations which followed, notably David Davis and Boris Johnson. As a result, Chequers marked the end of Tory Leavers uniting under one banner, and the beginning of the Party’s latest civil war over Europe. Which could very well prove to be fatal this time.