Top Stories
Top Stories
Commentary

We're all bored of Brexit just as it's getting interesting

Key Points
  • Tuesday is a crucial day for U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May as she will set out how she intends to take the Brexit process forward.
  • Her initial withdrawal agreement with the European Union was defeated.
  • MPs have tabled amendments to her Brexit deal that will be voted on Tuesday evening.
A British Union flag, also known as a Union Jack, flies beside a European Union (EU) flag during ongoing pro and anti Brexit protests outside the Houses of Parliament in London, U.K., on Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2019.
Bloomberg | Bloomberg | Getty Images

This week will be crucial for Brexit as Prime Minister Theresa May sets out how she intends to take the departure process forward after her initial withdrawal agreement with the European Union was defeated.

But as Westminster gets to grips with the Brexit process, and the media pores over the ramifications of parliamentary votes on proposed amendments to the deal, most of us are utterly bored of the Brexit drama just as the story's getting interesting.

On what has been dubbed "Super Tuesday" by more enthusiastic Brexit-watchers, May will present an amended version of her Brexit deal in Parliament on Tuesday which is expected to focus on alterations to the contentious "backstop" policy aimed at preventing a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

Whether it will be enough to appease rebels, Remainers and Brexiteers alike within Parliament is doubtful. Many MPs from both the Conservative and opposition parties have tabled, or supported, amendments aimed at forcing more far-reaching changes to May's deal. These range from ruling out a "no-deal" Brexit, postponing the departure date beyond March 29, holding a second referendum or creating a permanent customs union.

House Speaker John Bercow is expected to select a handful of the amendments to be voted on by MPs and so the future of Brexit — when it will happen, who decides what happens and what the future ties to the EU will be after it happens (if it happens) could be decided in Tuesday's showdown.

In short, we are probably at one of the most pivotal and politically invigorating moments in the Brexit process and yet, bogged down in the nitty-gritty detail, unending news flow and technical details of Brexit, the public could be forgiven for tiring of it.  Since 2016, Brexit has had the destructive power of a steam roller, but the snail-like pace of one too.

Being "bored of Brexit" (or "Bobs") has become "a thing" now with members of the public, various politicians (including the prime minister) and least of all the EU urging the U.K. to "just get on with it" — as if there's a single, tidy outcome for the characters, relationships and events within the Brexit plot.

Brexit has proved itself to be a largely unscripted, improvised, messy drama with no predictable conclusion ahead of March 29.

Britain now faces either a departure in which neither Remainer nor Leaver is satisfied, a delayed departure (I'm sure the public would relish more months of arguing over Brexit), another vote on departure or a general election, in which the only departure that takes place is that of the government.

It's taken a few years, admittedly, but Brexit just got interesting.