Will Rishi Sunak’s nerve hold over an agreement with Brussels to fix the Northern Ireland protocol or will he cave into “the malcontents, the reckless, the wreckers” of the DUP and right-wing, Eurosceptic ERG in his own party. That is Keir Starmer’s description. Columnist Matthew Parris, once in the Tory inner circle and now a dissenter, talks of the ‘Tory crazies’ – ‘a mad mental virus within the party, long embedded —. There is no cure, but there remains the possibility of control.’
The details of the protocol dispute are obscure – checks on British sausages, VAT rules or the role of Luxembourg judges in Northern Ireland but it touches on issues of sovereignty and identity, stoking up the bile that the Brexit debate unleashes. If this deal is signed it would improve the UK’s relationship with the USA and the EU, staving off the prospect of a trade war with Brussels, which in the present economic climate would be a blessing.
What is worrisome is tr Neptune square the Mars on Sunak’s PM term chart, 25 October 2022 11.15am, which suggests failure picking up from mid March onwards, on and off into early 2024. With a major hiccup late April/early May when tr Uranus squares the Saturn at 18 Aquarius. These could refer to other banana skins on his path ahead, but overall he is not in a successful year.
The Northern Ireland chart, 7 December 1922 3.28pm Belfast, is on tenterhooks with tr Saturn just over the conjunction to the Mars, will be jolted and jangled from mid March and facing upsets and disruption from late April into early May with its Neptune at 18 Leo. And will limp on through a less than upbeat year with other unhelpful transits to midpoints. The Solar Arc Sun conjunct the South Node in Pisces hints at lack of confidence, unrealistic expectations and a fear of losing the support of the UK.
The DUP, 30 September 1971, will not be looking forward with enthusiasm to March with tr Saturn moving into Pisces on the 7th immediately squaring their Neptune and then Jupiter denting their confidence and bringing disappointments and losses. Those influences continue on and off all year. Plus tr Pluto into Aquarius will trine their Mercury for heated and stubborn discussions from late March till June and again in 2024.
The three prominent Brexiteers are not too chirpy about Saturn in Pisces either – with it crashing into Boris Johnson’s Mars in Gemini square Uranus Pluto Saturn from mid March onwards and Rees Moog’s Gemini Sun catching the tr Saturn square in early April. David Frost, the former EU negotiator for BJ, is equally looking at a failure-strewn 2023.
No one is looking happy or successful. What a botch up.
The FT today having argued for the deal writes: ‘Weighing heavily on the other side of the ledger is the very real risk that a compromise with Brussels winds up Tory Eurosceptics, fails to end the political impasse in Northern Ireland and leaves Sunak on the ropes with perilous local elections in early May only weeks away.’
‘The route is littered with political skeletons; Theresa May, another former Tory leader, lost her job trying to resolve the issue of Northern Ireland’s relationship with the EU post-Brexit.’
See previous post November 23 2022.