Brexit is like divorce – that's why Mrs May is struggling
PUBLISHED: 13:07 29 March 2019 | UPDATED: 13:07 29 March 2019
Liz Nice says it may be that Mrs May is finding Brexit so hard because she is happily married
Some people find it impossible to act on a decision, long after they have already made it in their hearts.
This is how Britain finds itself now.
A decision was made; largely from gut feeling, but to actually make it happen is proving difficult.
This is because there are a lot of people around that decision who don’t want it to happen for their own reasons.
People who think it is madness.
People who think the desire to be free is down to age and ignorance and feelings that should be suppressed.
People who say ‘we need to think about the children’.
People who want what they want, regardless of how the decision maker feels, and will fight to the death to keep it.
Not for the first time, it struck me at the weekend that Brexit is very like leaving a marriage, and this realisation helped me to understand why Theresa May is having such a hard time.
Her mission, it seems, is to try to keep everybody happy.
In these circumstances, thatjust isn’t possible.
Someone has to get what they want, and the rest have to accept it in the end; they may protest, they may even threaten to swim off to another land, but once the decision is made and the course is set, everybody will eventually scramble onto the boat and sail on.
Theresa May finds herself almost friendless because she isn’t getting on the boat, nor is she getting off it – she is bobbing alone in a tiny lifeboat trying to make room for everyone, while on either side of her gleam two luxury liners, which have ‘all you can eat’ and Sky TV.
I feel sorry for Mrs May, happily married and without a clue how to do divorce.
She is so determined to do what she believes to be right.
But people are people and they want what they want. If they want different things, it becomes a battle. You can’t hold back the tide of emotion with determined words and resolution. This is about FEELING. And both sides feel this thing to their core.
At the weekend, a million people marched on the one side (#teamremain), while the weight of what has already been decided presses ever harder on the other (#teamleave).
As with any marriage in its final throes, there are only really two choices now – not the seven we were told about this week.
“Trying one last time” would represent a second referendum vote, or “Once the heart has gone, there is no going back” would represent hard Brexit, full on.
The rest is just details.
Any kind of soft Brexit is the ‘we can still be friends’ option.
It might work in the long run, but never at this stage.
By prolonging the agony and moving the deckchairs, Mrs May is worrying about who is getting the sofa and the CDs, how we will all afford to live without a joint salary and what will happen in 20 years’ time when the kids get married and we might not be allowed to sit on the top table.
None of this matters right now.
Brexit is just like any divorce. Decide to do it – we have, haven’t we?, or if we really haven’t, because we made a terrible error, were misinformed and had loads in common after all, then let’s decide once more with another referendum and stick to it this time. Then, once the decision is made, the only thing to do is to get on with it.
The future will work out.
It never hasn’t yet.
And despite appearances to the contrary, we will all still be all right in the morning of the new dawn.