When Dr. Hamish Johnson, editor of physicsworld.com, described the United Kingdom’s referendum decision to leave the European Union, as, 'Schrödinger’s Brexit', I feel that he put things in perspective very well.
Schrödinger’s Cat was thought up by Austrian physicist, Erwin Schrödinger. He proposed the paradox of a cat, shut in a box. Along with the cat would be a radioactive source and a vial of poison. When a certain amount of radioactive material was detected, the vial would be broken by an automatic mechanism, releasing the poison.
The theory behind this, is that once the box is closed, the cat may be thought of as both alive and dead. It is only after opening the box and diving in, that one finds out which one it is for certain.
To apply this to Brexit, although Leavers were sure that leaving the EU would be fine and Remainers were sure it would be disaster, the June 2016 vote to leave the European Union, could theoretically have turned out for the better as well as for the worse.
Fast-forward to present day and it is undeniable that there is a very bad smell around the Brexit box. Thus, we are being told that we should rue the referendum and its result, and that Leave voters and their Brexit have a great deal to answer for. This seems a rather hasty judgement to me.
Objectively speaking, there were certain expectations regarding the referendum. The first expectation was that Remain would win convincingly and that life would proceed under the status quo. In the event that Leave would win, it is reasonable to have expected the then Prime Minister, David Cameron, to show leadership. After all, he had given the impression, that upon a Leave win, he would trigger Article 50 and begin the process of taking the UK out of the EU as mandated.
In reality, when it came to votes, Leave received a narrow majority. Instead of showing leadership, a smarting David Cameron, tucked his tail between his legs and disgracefully resigned.
In one fell swoop, the immediate shockwave of the result was magnified. The United Kingdom was plunged into political mayhem. As our enormously divided country was reeling, there was no one at the helm to provide much needed direction and reassurance.
And while the political system began its descent into chaos, the business community panicked. The confirmation that the UK had voted to leave the EU, brought a rude awakening for many proprietors and CEOs, who, despite having had several months warning of the vote, had just sat on their hands. A percentage had just been complacent, while others had relied on project fear, or the threats and intimidation made towards their workers. Whatever it was, they were completely unprepared.
While all of this raged and the pound fell, the EU’s Junker, Verhofstadt, Hollande, Merkel and Tusk were unleashing a fury that Hell hath nothing like. Our country was mocked and insulted as our ‘friends’ in Brussels began to shed their fleeces and bare their canines.
Adding their boots into the mix, were of course distraught Remainers. The bitter slurs started straight away towards those who voted to leave. We have been portrayed as gullible, uneducated idiots at best and racist nationalists at worst. British democracy itself has been attacked. We have seen constant scheming, aimed at undermining the result. Almost immediately, demands for a second vote began, with Nicola Sturgeon pondering not one do-over but two. London waded in with talk of a vote of its own.
Theresa May, a remainer, then moved into Downing Street. Despite her confident arrival, she and her government have been a total shambles. They have mismanaged—some would say, ‘sabotaged’—Brexit completely and have ultimately brought us to the current, embarrassing state of affairs.
When it comes to ‘Schrödinger’s Brexit’, you won’t find me differing with the opinion that the contents of the box have become rather rancid. However, it is ridiculous to blame it solely on Brexit itself or on those who believe that the United Kingdom is better out of the European Union.
Certain groups and individuals need to wake up to the part that they have played in all this. Remainers, especially, should look at their own actions and motivations since the referendum. Together with the European Union, they have sought to delay and discredit and ultimately deaden Brexit, by hook or by crook, every step of the way.
Let’s be honest, the worst thing in the world for them, would be for Brexit to work out for the best. In fact, Brexit working out at all is the last thing they want. Heaven forbid that the United Kingdom would shine as a great country in its own right, able to manage its own affairs, go about business and thrive once free from Brussels. It would see the EU severely weakened and Remainers with egg on their faces.
Thus, collectively, Brexit must crash and burn. Then the European Union comes out stronger, with the United Kingdom once again put in its place. Article 50 would never be called upon again. And overjoyed Remainers, seeing themselves as the saviours of the nation, will aim the blame for any damage, towards Brexit and the leave voter. With the biblical plank of wood in their eyes, they will sit there screaming, “look what you did! And all for what?!”
Sadly, we will never know just how good Brexit could have been. It has been denied its best run by shortcomings and shenanigans. If only there had been better behaviour, more bottle and a bit of gumption. Perhaps, then, we would all be looking to the future with some hope, instead of looking around blaming each other for the smell.