The Brexit Power Ranking

Consider this your digested read on all the new developments in the biggest exercise of self-inflicted misery the UK has ever put itself through.
Simon Childs
London, United Kingdom
August 16, 2019, 10:23am
Brexit Power Ranking

Every week from now until eternity, we bring you VICE’s official Brexit Power Ranking. You’ll be able to tell your grandchildren that you read the very first one.

We're just over two weeks from Parliament coming back from their holidays, at which point Britain’s slow slide into chaos is back, back, back. Consider this the pre-season, where there's just some transfer conjecture to keep us interested as low-ranking teams make use of the lack of real news to get some banter headlines.

1: EU SUPERGIRL

We regret to have to place someone so profoundly irritating at the top of this list, but credit where credit's due. EU Supergirl, otherwise known as 25-year-old Brit Madeleina Kay, has pulled off the greatest grift of the Brexit era by essentially getting remainers to fund her holiday around Europe. When everyone else is suffering through one of the wettest summers in our history and living under Boris JohnsonBoris Johnson – she's off in Europe making music videos, giving people stickers and painting watercolours, at the expense of remainers' GoFundMe donations. Saluti to that!

2: THE 'WHITE-WORKING CLASS'

Brexit has given us many wonderful things. The ability to kill and exit a conversation at any moment at its mention. An appreciation of tomatoes. A chaotic energy around politics. It’s also promoted an unprecedented level of attention and concern for the “white working class”, elevating them above other socially disadvantaged groups. About time!

Except, according to researchers from the Runnymead Trust and the University of Leeds, this overlooked group is essentially “mythical.” This Brexit chat masquerading as concern for an oppressed group has, in fact, intensified the oppression of the ethnic minorities from working-class areas. No better way to get more power in Britain than divide and rule, eh, leavers?

3: JEREMY CORBYN

Bless him. He’s trying his bloody hardest. I mean, he hasn’t actually filed a vote of no confidence yet, but he definitely, definitely would *like* to if some other MPs from the Conservatives and Lib Dems would just help out a bit. They might, if it’s not him who leads the interim government but hey! Someone’s got to try. At least he's got Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson on the defensive when it comes to what length each leader will go to to stop Brexit.

Trump administration national security adviser John Bolton

US national security advisor John Bolton. Photo by Gage Skidmore via Flickr

4: JOHN BOLTON SAYING THE US SUPPORTS NO-DEAL

Ugh. You don’t even go here. Go back to hating on minorities in your own country.

5: THE LIB DEMS

Corbyn’s suggestion that he should be a caretaker Prime Minister following a vote of no confidence – at least until an election is called – is an awkward one for Lib Dems and other centrists. After however long of sitting on his hands, the leader of the opposition has given Remainiac MPs a concrete plan to stop Brexit, and they are trying their level best to reject it.

Why? Because “Their horror of Corbyn is equal to – or greater than – their horror of Brexit,” writes Rafael Behr in the Guardian. “That has been so well understood by the participants in the discussion that few have felt much need to articulate it. Corbyn’s letter now obliges them to spell it out.”

So now the sensible centre is having to own up to the fact that the catastrophic no-deal Brexit, centrist Kryptonite, destroyer of worlds, the worst thing to ever happen to Britain, the thing that will result in mass plague and pestilence and the slaughter of every child under the age of two and an increase in the price of flights to certain people’s second homes in the south of France – the thing that they’ve been trying absolutely everything and anything to stop – is actually less important to them than stopping Jeremy Corbyn getting anywhere near Number Ten.

Chief among those now finally saying-the-quiet-part-loud are the Lib Dems. They have put forward their plan to avoid a no-deal, and it’s hard to see past the key point that they envisage an interim Prime Minister being, well, Ken Clarke or Harriet Harman. Their qualification for this is apparently that they are the two longest serving MPs, but it also might have a little something to do with them not being goddam’ commies.

"It’s ironic really," we'll laugh as the insulin supplies run low and the supermarket shelves empty, "the people who were most opposed to no-deal ended up making sure it happened, all because they didn’t like the guy who they accused of not being fervently anti-Brexit enough." We'll all need funny little observations like that keep our spirits up as GDP slumps.

@RubyJLL / @simonchilds13

UPDATE 17/08/19: An earlier version of this article stated that Madeleina Kay had visited Florence on her European Interrail trip. She had not. The article has been updated to reflect this.