Spinning the political roulette wheel for the busy year ahead

Brexit blues...British Prime Minister Theresa May's future will have huge impact here as well.
Brexit blues...British Prime Minister Theresa May's future will have huge impact here as well.

World of Politics with Harry McGee – harrymcgee@gmail.com

Making predictions is easy; so is spinning a roulette wheel, throwing dice or buying Lotto tickets. It’s winning – or being right – that’s the difficult part. But, having said all that, let’s have a stab at the big events we should watch out for in 2019.

Because how right – or wrong – can I be?

And let’s start with January 21; it’s only a week away but it has the potential of setting the tone for the entire year – because that’s the date set for the vital Brexit vote in Westminster.

You don’t have to be a genius to know that the outcome is predictable; the vote is either going down or will be postponed. In either instances, we are in for a period of chaos.

I have worried a little bit of late about the EU’s intransigence and unwillingness to compromise. My concern is about the outcome which will be a Hard Brexit.

But then, the problem is that if the EU does compromise, or park key issues, even then there’s no guarantee of Theresa May being able to carry whatever is offered with a divided Tory party, and, let it be said, a divided Labour party.

It’s just a mess.

A lot of people have been clamouring for a second referendum, a Brexit II like we had our Lisbon II.

The problem is the likelihood the outcome will be exactly the same; that people will still vote to leave.

My own guess is that it will all be postponed for a year to allow the British sort out its own mess. There’s a bit of wishful thinking there on my part as a hard Brexit will be a disaster on every imaginable level.

But given the hopeless arithmetic of Westminster politics at the moment, we might see a scenario of a new prime minister (Tory), or a general election (which might see Jeremy Corbyn become prime minister), or a second referendum, or some combination.

And so onto March 31, a date could be indelibly marked on our collective consciousness, when Article 50 is triggered and Britain leaves the EU.

A no-deal hard Brexit will be difficult. I’m reluctant to use the word ‘disaster’ because it has been bandied around too much and nobody really knows how it’s going to play out.

If you listen to the likes of Jacob Rees-Mogg and the other hard Brexiteers, the change will revive the flagging Empire and remake Britain as a world power.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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