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  • Brendan Shaw

Should I Stay or Should I Go?: Brexit the Musical


Should I stay or should I go now?

Should I stay or should I go now?

If I go there will be trouble

And if I stay it will be double

So you gotta let me know

Should I stay or should I go?

- Should I Stay or Should I Go?, The Clash

I reckon when someone writes 'Brexit the Musical', the title will come from this immortal song by the 1980s British punk rock band, The Clash.

The climactic scene in 'Brexit the Musical' will be when Prime Minister, Theresa May, bursts into a rendition of this song at a meeting with the European Council in Brussels.

May will be singing and dancing amongst European Union leaders like Donald Tusk, Jean-Claude Junkcer, Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron who look on in bewilderment as she begs them to tell her whether the UK should stay or go.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xMaE6toi4mk

Other scenes from 'Brexit the Musical' would be just as entertaining, featuring other players in the UK's Brexit pantomine.

British and EU negotiators meeting in tense negotiations in conference rooms with briefing papers scattered around the room to the tune of The Spice Girls' Wannabee.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gJLIiF15wjQ&feature=youtu.be

A poignant, soulful solo performance by Boris Johnson of Robbie Williams' Better Man, as he tries to reflect on what he needs to do to get his political career back on course.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RoDqwQ10oIE

Nigel Farage singing Culture Club's Karma Chameleon, wondering out aloud whether he has conviction.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JmcA9LIIXWw

Jabob-Rees Mogg singing Adele's Bond movie theme Skyfall to celebrate an impending 'no-deal' Brexit.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q-gLRp5bSpw

And Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn singing Billy Bragg's 'Accident Waiting to Happen' at Theresa May from the sidelines.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=18bVR0qhOKw

There would be the scene in the streets of Westminster, with the British people - Leavers, Remainers and the Don't-Care-Just-Get-the-Hell-On-With-Iters - demonstrating outside Parliament and singing We Will Rock You by Queen.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-tJYN-eG1zk

And, of course, the penultimate finale at the end of 'Brexit the Musical' is the entire British Parliament singing in the House of Commons together arm-in-arm in a rousing chorus of David Bowie's Heroes.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lXgkuM2NhYI

It really is quite an extraordinary moment in British politics, British history and, frankly, Western democracy.

Like a punch-drunk prize fighter staggering around the ring who's been given yet another round with Lennox Lewis, the UK has been granted an extension to its Brexit date to leave the European Union to as late as 31 October by the European Council.

The extension had to be sought by Theresa May because she couldn't get her EU-negotiated deal through the House of Commons.

The world watched in amazement as, having effectively wrestled control of trade negotiations away from the government - overturning something that kings, queens and governments have more or less maintained through 1,000 years of evolving Westminster tradition - the Parliament couldn't reach agreement on anything.

The only thing they did agree on was .... that they needed to agree on something.

It's got so bad that we've recently even seen Conservative Prime Minister May attempting negotiations with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn over a possible compromise deal.

May was forced to do this because she couldn't get the numbers from her own party to support a deal and because the Parliament collectively haven't agreed on anything.

But it appears even these efforts at a cross-party compromise have collapsed too.

Significantly, the Westminster principle of 'royal prerogative' - whereby it is the executive arm of government that traditionally has responsibility for things like foreign affairs, declaring war and trade negotiations - has been put to the sword by the Parliament in Westminster itself ..... it's just that Parliament itself hasn't so far managed to do much better than the executive arm in finding a solution.

In the days of yore, English kings have literally lost their head over issues like this.

One suspects Theresa May's only real risk is perhaps losing her mind, bugged by indecision.

Maybe The Clash were on to something.

Whether tragedy, comedy or farce, this musical still has a long way to go.

'Brexit the Musical', coming to a theatre near you.

#Brexit #UK #Parliament #government #trade #music #politics

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