Tuesday, 21 March 2017
Theresa May names the day and what a day. John Major has of late resurrected himself – well nobody else was going to do it - as a contender for Remoaner-in-Chief, so it is apt that in recognition of the contribution he made to the momentous referendum decision, Article 50 is to be invoked and the intention to leave the EU made official on his 74th birthday. Perfect. This could become a recurring theme: On July the 25th, to coincide with Tim Farron’s 47th, in a neat bit of age-mirroring, we could maybe enact some far-reaching anti-EU legislation. And perhaps to celebrate Matthew Parris’ 68th the 7th of August could be the day we decide to send everybody packing?
After nine months of sniping it will be a blessed relief to finally get the wheels in motion. Precisely three weeks later, on the 19th of April, Gina Miller could raise a glass to celebrate her 52nd and wish the process well; after all, it is completely in line with the parliamentary democratic process via which she tried so hard to derail it. I can see a whole year of deliciously ironic anniversaries ahead. On December the 9th, two days after Anna Soubry Day, on which we could inaugurate the first annual EU flag burning ceremony, we could collectively bare our bottoms in the direction of Jean-Claude Juncker to remind him of his statement that no other countries would follow us out of the union.
This is, of course the same J C Juncker who in 2014 said, referring to the introduction of the Euro: “We decide on something, leave it lying around and wait and see what happens. If no one kicks up a fuss, because most people don't understand what has been decided, we continue step by step until there is no turning back.” He has never believed in trusting the people to decide, saying without any apparent shame that: “When it becomes serious, you have to lie.” Oh yes, Jean-Claude, we know. That’s why we know there will be others.
A date to remember!
In the white paper on Europe’s future, to be presented on the EU’s 60th birthday at the Rome summit on Saturday, there is not on shred of doubt that the EU will persist and that the remaining 27 will somehow stay together, come hell or high Euro. In other words, when the facts don’t fit the narrative, carry on lying. If, as the people at Gatestone believe, there may not even be a union left worthy of the name in a decade all this is moot. As usual we’ll watch events unfold with interest. But get cracking on that bunting because soon it will be the 23rd of June once more. An anniversary to really remember.