What puzzles me most about today’s Britain (and there’s a lot that’s exceptionally puzzling) is the inability of any third party to replace either Labour or the Tories. It would seem that a Johnson Tory party and a Corbyn Labour would grant the center and a majority to any centrist, rational, pro-European, pro-Nato group. One would assume that a vast majority of British would endorse any centrist course of action that is neither Corbynist nor Johnsonist.
The epic failure of the libdems to see that opportunity and gain that ground really is perplexing. Even in a country where there only are two parties due to the electoral system, either can be replaced and that would not be novel in Britain.
A Britain outside the EU may think it can choose sides in geopolitical alliances, but these alliances are very different from how they operated a century ago. Power today rests in economic integration and having world class engines of growth powering the local economy and national wealth. Russia only has oil and a loud mouth, and a trade pact with the US would include GM food and chlorinated chicken. I think more likely post-Brexit is a third option where Northern Ireland out of pure exasperation joins the Republic and Scotland joins the EU, leaving England and Wales continuing in the current tailspin. But as matters stand I’m still inclined to believe that Brexit will not occur, and I’m inclined to say that a customs union isn’t Brexit, it’s remain minus.
We worry in the EU that a Johnson Britain may not maintain a hard border in Ireland in order to have an active sore with the EU to exploit. But that too would only hasten the undoing of the British Union as crime and terror would return and most Northern Irish would understand who is politically responsible. As for contemplating a Corbyn Britain, that’s just too complex and extraordinary to imagine with any kind of realism.