In just over an hour, Prime Minister Theresa May will deliver a Brexit speech in Florence. In the city where E M Forster penned A Room with a View, the only view the PM will have is the transcript of her 5000 words and a manspreading Boris Johnson in the front row.
There’s a general understanding of what the PM is expected to set out; a transitional offer for two years after we leave the EU in March 2019 and payment of 20 Billion. Let’s wait and see.
I would suggest Brexit has radicalised thought across many of those following the negotiations closely. Prior to David Cameron’s clumsy stumble into the referendum, I had rarely given the EU a second thought. The UK joined it’s continental neighbours a few weeks before I took my first steps in 1973. Its always been there.
Only since the announcement of the EU Referendum date did I start to think about the EU. I’ve not stopped thinking about it since 23rd June 2016.
The Referendum Campaign was not our finest hour. Remain focused on the dangers of leaving rather than the achievements of membership. Leave were much more strategic, they simply lied through their teeth and took 17.3 Million people with them.
16 Million wanted to stay members. It is amongst these 16 Million, the radicals exist. It is these individuals who will help shape the next decade. I’ve proposed one possible outcome below.
You will have seen the new ten pound note, it has recently been introduced following the new fiver and ahead of the new £20 note. It is physically smaller, and post referendum, considerably weaker. It has not reached parity with the Euro, but exchange it at any airport, and you will be forgiven for believing it has.
Sterling presently has the Queen’s portrait printed and hologrammed into it. With the greatest of respect, at 91 years of age, the Monarch will not be with us for many more years. She will be succeeded by Prince Charles who as King Charles III will have his face on the money. Or will he?
I’m not a Republican. I’m a big fan of the Royal Family. But, I question how popular the younger Royals are compared to the Queen. What if five years down the track, our new status out of the EU is not as rosy as Prime Minister Johnson suggested?
What if those radicalised by the Brexit process and those embittered by the failure to deliver hollow promises propose we join the Euro instead of printing new notes with Charles III embedded on them?
If post Brexit Sterling hovers around the same value as the Euro and King Charles III fails to capture the nation’s hearts and minds, the transition to joining the Euro is no longer a quantum leap.
An energised young electorate, given the choice in a Euro Referendum would out number older Eurosceptic voters. Brexit will be remembered as the elastic on a catapult pulled back to full taut before launching the UK into a closer union with the EU. The problem with radical ideas, occasionally they bear fruit.
Good luck in your speech Prime Minister.
Jas Sansi is a freelance photographer. @jassansi 07930 837 505