So, that whole UK-EU negotiation thing is almost all wrapped up, right? I haven’t bothered to look at the news over the last week or so, but I don’t need to in order to know that May got the cabinet and the DUP to accept the backstop and now everything’s pretty much on plan for the vote in parliament, happening next month, which should be smooth as silk….
Joking aside, as ever with Brexit, the more no deal looms into view, the more Brexit being significantly delayed or not happening at all does as well. It’s the Brexit yin and yang. Which brings us neatly to the topic du jour, namely the Euro 2019 elections. We have long presumed, because of the timing of the Article 50 triggering, that this was not going to happen in the UK, as in, we were not going to be electing MEPs ever again since we were Audi 5000, Juncker-faces. However, with the possibility of this not being the case come May 2019 looking more and more plausible as the talks falter, it’s worth looking at how they might go were they to take place.
None of the parties would be ready for them, really. Well, except the ones who are obsessed with this topic, namely the Lib Dems and UKIP. Those two parties would also be best placed to campaign for potential votes. The Lib Dems’ positioning as the anti-Brexiteers in excelsis would finally pay off, as voters got to register a pro-EU vote in the simplest way possible without worrying about accidentally electing a government that would legalise drugs, make STV the voting system everywhere and do literally nothing else. Seriously, if this election did take place in the UK, if you were pro-EU why would you vote for anyone other than the Lib Dems? Okay, or the Greens, I guess. But Labour? Why bother?
Likewise, if you’re Brexity as all get out and want to register a protest that these stinking elections are happening on the beloved soil of Albion anew, why vote for anyone other than UKIP? I know they have three and a half members and are run out of the back of a pub in Grimsby now, but they are still the one vote that you can make to send a message that the vote shouldn’t be happening, should they happen. What would voting Tory say instead? It would be their fault the whole thing was taking place and thus not a depository for Brexit votes at that point, not in the Euros anyhow.
The result of all of this would be, hilariously, far and away the largest turnout for a Euro parliament election in British history. Which makes it hard to then argue from a Eurosceptic perspective that they don’t matter and no one cares about them. This is the chief reason why Brexiteers are so keen to avoid them happening – they would demonstrate in a clear and demonstrable way just how important the EU now is to British politics.