Around breakfast time on Thursday, Europe changed. Looking at the stony faces of Johnson and Gove at the press conference following the referendum results, one recognizes a bullshitter when they get caught out. A bit like Trump, trying to fall out of greatness is no easy thing.
These two advocates of the Leave campaign have realized that the number of porkie pies (cockney for lies) thrown around during the campaign are now going to be scrutinized. They slouched into the limelight accordingly. Already, two key claims have been debunked: more money for the NHS and the stemming of immigration. Why else did people vote Leave?
Looking after the UK first instead of Europe – that was the rhetoric. There might not be much to look after, following Scotland’s preparations for a second referendum hot on the heels of the failed 2014 attempt to leave. Now, with the clear understanding that Scotland’s future lies in being closer to continental Europe, things could fall apart quicker than you could fry a cracked egg.
In addition, the Northern Irish have been reminded of one of the provisions of the Good Friday Agreement – namely that of dual citizenship (Irish as well as British), so there is a back door to the EU swinging open and possibly hastening a united Ireland in the future.
Oh well, England. You still have Wales. And they are through to the quarter-finals of the Euro Cup.
How Cameron and Johnson can both believe that they can dawdle into formal negotiations shows the ruse for what it was – pure populism for the sake of Tory egos. Johnson has also mumbled that some associative status may be possible: Please EU, just have a cup of tea and be patient, scrambled eggs are off the menu.
No Sir, that egg is cracked and both Juncker and Schulz have laid the table for breakfast.
Rachael Clugston is an Australian expat living in Leipzig, who regularly writes about politics for LeipGlo.