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ANALYSIS: A short reprieve from the Groundhog Day of Brexit


On Canada Day 2016, I left Canada after living most of my adult life there.

It was one week after the U.K. voted to leave the EU — a result absolutely no one was prepared for, not least the politicians (like Boris Johnson) who campaigned for Brexit.

I had no plan, either. I had quit my job in Canada to move back to Ireland to be closer to my family.

But the gravitational pull of the British media market was irresistible for a broadcast journalist, and the opportunities in Ireland were limited, so I took a short Ryanair flight to England.

I initially split my time between the BBC’s national news radio station in Manchester and stints as a London correspondent for Global News.

My professional life was immediately consumed by Brexit — either explaining the details to Brits or the basics to Canadians.

Suddenly, I’m Bill Murray in Groundhog Day, holding a microphone in Punxsutawney, and every day is Feb. 2.

I’m speaking Global Toronto’s Antony Robart about the border backstop.

I’m phoning up Nigel Farage at 7 a.m. to ask if he will speak on BBC Radio 5 Live about how British and German tourists will compete for sun loungers on Spanish beaches. (Of course, he did.)

I’m telling Dawna Friesen that this is the absolute last chance for Theresa May — until the next one.

I’m texting Tony Blair’s former press secretary, Alastair Campbell, asking him to meet me for a “quick clip for Canadian TV” in the muddy media pen opposite Westminster.

Some days didn’t blend into groundhog oblivion, though.

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