The US isn’t the only polarised country with a rudderless ship of state. The poor Brits are getting increasingly perplexed watching a motionless government murmuring hopeful platitudes about Brexit while the doomsayers are getting louder. The UK’s spending watchdog has warned the post-Brexit IT system for customs is heading for a “horror show” that could risk £34bn of public income and potentially plunging the UK’s ports into chaos.
There are two views of David Davis, the UK chief negotiator, who is a possible PM if May topples off her perch. One view says he is a pragmatic Leaver who can get the necessary compromises. The other says he is a deluded buccaneering optimist. His rosy view is it will be simple to complete an EU deal by March 2019, with almost all the trading benefits we currently enjoy and then we would be free to sign glorious trade agreements with the rest of the world. His cohort Liam Fox chips in that Brexit will cement our status as a great trading nation.
The Times (admittedly pro-Remain) did a hatchet job on Davis recently, quoting those who had worked with him – “hates to listen to advice”, “delusions of grandeur”, ”vain and quixotic”, “all noise and bluster”, “no practical sense of the realities he’s about to confront”. Businesses that have come to see Davis have been left aghast at the lack of detailed understanding. An ambassador from a senior member state, who has been briefed on how Davis is viewed by the EU now, has a crushing verdict: “He is part of the problem. He doesn’t know the dossiers well. His style is arrogant, he is full of bluster.” A European insider says Davis appears to have an inflated, jingoistic faith in Britain’s influence which is not going to play out well. “He’s going to be humiliated again and again by the EU, as he was in the first week.
And given that David Davis has the trapped, enraged, powerless tr Pluto conjunct his Mars from early 2018 to late 2019; as well as a discouraging tr Saturn conjunct his Capricorn Sun, Jupiter, Mercury from this coming New Year for several months – he will find his bubble of high hopes firmly burst.
Whereas the chancellor, Philip Hammond, is much more alarmed by the danger of a bad Brexit, and has a different vision of where we should be heading and how long it will take to get there. He’s got the final undermining transit of Neptune square his Sun from early October to early January 2018, so in the short term won’t be feeling upbeat. Though he’ll be more confident and enthusiastic through 2018/19 with tr Uranus trine his Jupiter and tr Pluto square his Sun/Jupiter. Though he’s completely squelched and seriously shaken in 2019 with Solar Arc Pluto conjunct his Mars with tr Uranus opposition both.
Boris Johnson hasn’t much going for him over the next three years and a fair amount against. Though if his birth time of 2pm is about accurate he’ll bounce again from 2023 onwards and is young enough to reinvent himself.
Home Secretary Amber Rudd does have the confidence for a push in 2017/18 with tr Pluto square her Jupiter in Aries; although will have a career car-crash few months from this October across the New Year.
Theresa May, tightly-lipped and overly-controlled as usual, will find her enigmatic mask paying fewer dividends as voters ask whether there is much behind the brittle shell. Her chart is awash with Neptune – tr Neptune conjunct her Mars in 2017/18 and then opposition her Jupiter in 2019/2020. Tr Pluto square her Sun/Neptune midpoint through 2017/18 which is devastating and confused; and an uncertain Solar Arc Saturn square her Neptune this year. She does have tr Pluto trine her Jupiter till late 2017, giving her a lift but when that disappears she’s into a raft of blocked, failure ridden Pluto transits to two Mars midpoints in 2018/2019.
The UK chart is veering between hostile argument and outright panic this year; more emotional angst next; with some surging confidence in 2018/19 from two Jupiter midpoints; into a highly confused 2019 with tr Neptune square Mercury.
So the fog of not knowing who to believe will roll on.
Barnier, the EU negotiator, is playing a game of chicken in his arrogance. But a disorderly Brexit will impact Europe, whether for Flemish industrialists, French fromagiers or German car-makers. He forgets the rest of the EU runs a €120 billion-a-year trade surplus with the UK and that three times as many EU workers are resident in Britain than British workers are resident in the EU. Plus the UK flouncing off would blow a huge hole in the EU budget. All of those considerations are tossed aside to in order to prop up the Brussels technocracy. If the UK were to exist as friends outside of the creaky EU superstructure, then his ilk would have little raison d’etre. His Capricorn Sun square Neptune is picking up the tr Pluto hard aspects in 2017/18, so he’s not seeing too clearly either.
Pluto in Capricorn as part of its deconstruction and reconstruction of government systems should toss the whole lot out and start again. But alas and alack, not much chance of that.