Britain in the Euro Elections 2019
Some might say that by rights there should be no European Elections in the UK which was due to leave the EU on Friday the 29th March 2019 following the results of the June 2016 Brexit referendum.
That referendum was the biggest plebiscite ever staged in the United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland and Gibraltar. 17,410,742 voted to leave and 16,141,241 to remain (51.89% to 48.11%).
Brexit did not take place in March and is now postponed until the 31st October 2019 so, because legally the UK, Northern Ireland and Gibraltar are still in the EU we will all be going to the polls on the 23rd May 2019 to elect 73 out of the 751 MEPs.
The amusing spectacle now presenting itself is of the decimation of the main traditional parties (Labour and Conservative) to be replaced not only by the pro-EU Liberal Democratic party, which is expected to do well, but also by the ferociously anti-Brussels Brexit party formed a mere 5 weeks ago by the architect of the Brexit referendum Nigel Farrage (Downe, England, 1964) the ex leader of UKIP.
The British political paradigm has shifted to the extent that, as has already happened in Italy and France, the traditional centuries-old British parties may be about to be permanently eliminated.
Farage has been accused of lying to get the Brexit result and of being in the pocket of the Russians (without evidence shown to date) and that most heinous of insults to the metropolitan elite in London, of being a friend of President Donald Trump.
The mainstream media has relentlessly attacked him but, if anything his popularity has increased as trust in the bi-party system has all but collapsed and antipathy of the EU’s leadership (Junckers, Tusk and Tajani) has grown among the Brits.
Farage is being compared to Beppe Grillo of the top polling Italian 5 Star Movement.
Farage’s aim is to get a large contingent of Brexit party MEPs into the Brussels parliament to negotiate terms of departure which has so far evaded Premier Theresa May and to immediately activate article 24 of the World Trade Organisation Treaty which he says: “…. allows us to continue to trade with Europe on zero tariffs while we negotiate a free trade arrangement.”
From the other side of the political spectrum, the Liberal Democrat Party, which was almost wiped out from the Westminster Parliament at the last General Elections, has come thundering back under the banner of an “Exit from Brexit”.
It is led by the 77 year old Sir Vince Cable (an embarrassing age given that many in the broader Remain campaign have repeatedly tried to exclude old fogies from long term national decision making in the UK). As the Conservative Party has been riven by civil war and the Labour Party cannot bring itself to wholeheartedly back the cause of remaining in the EU the Liberal Democrats may well be the party of choice of many.
Finally there is another new party, Change Uk (“CHUK”) composed of pro-EU defectors from both the Conservative and Labour parties whose spokesman is the suave Chuka Umunna (age 40 from Lambeth in London).
It remains to be seen whether this self styled “British Obama” will capture the imaginations of the British Nation at a time said to be the most volatile ever in political terms. His enemies accuse him of being in love…with himself.
Whatever happens on the 23rd May 2019 , politics in the UK will surely never be the same…look out also for results in France and Germany.
Britain in the Euro Elections 2019