On this week’s episode we’re looking at the Brexit situation as 2017 draws to a close. We’ll also be marvelling at all the wondrous, and infuriating, jargon to come from our EU withdrawal, and asking whether British aristocrats are being seduced by the new ‘glamocracy’.
First up: the days might be getting shorter, but the crises faced by Britain’s Brexit negotiations seem never-ending. Ireland has been the sticking point this week, compounding a torrid month for Theresa May. Her task is Herculean, writes James Forsyth in this week’s magazine cover story, not because she herself is Hercules, but because her tasks are getting more and more difficult. Will the EU ever show mercy on her? And even when ‘sufficient progress’ is declared, will that simply be the start of another distended nightmare? James joins the podcast to discuss, along with Yanis Varoufakis, the former Greek finance minister who’s been at the table with the EU. As James writes:
“The Brexit debate is difficult because the referendum revealed a country that was evenly divided on the question. But splitting the difference would be the worst of all worlds. Being in the single market but not in the EU for anything other than a temporary period would bring the drawbacks of membership without the benefits. As Theresa May tries to navigate her way into the next round of the Brexit talks, she must remember that if Britain is not going to do anything differently, then all of this agony really will have been for nothing.”
One fruitful element of the Brexit negotiations has been a flourishing market for jargon. Like the word Brexit itself, the process has given rise to insufferable acronyms like ‘EEA-‘ and ‘CETA+’, as well as hackneyed neologisms like ‘Remoaner’ and ‘Brexiteer’. Dot Wordsworth tackles