surinenglish

Wishes and resolutions

This week we've eaten our 12 grapes at the 12 strokes of midnight, we've hugged some of our friends and family and sent memes to the rest, we've watched fireworks, drunk fizzy wine, sung Auld Lang Syne and welcomed the year 2020 in style.

That was all on New Year's Eve and since then, we've had a couple of days to reflect on whether the resolutions and wishes made in the heat of the moment should have been a bit more realistic.

There may have been some Remainers, for example, who made the most of the supposed magic of the moment, when one year turns into another, to wish for Brexit to be stopped, or even resolved to continue to search for ways of stopping it.

Events in recent weeks, however, show that any ideas of keeping Britain in the European Union are by now wishful thinking. Tuesday night's wishes should have been focused on the decisions and agreements to be made over the next 12 months. If Brexit is inevitable then we can only hope that its conditions have the least damaging effect possible on the thousands of British residents in Spain and other EU countries and on EU citizens in the UK.

Prime minister Boris Johnson promised to "get Brexit done" and British voters have given him the chance to do it. The hard part comes now though, and will take up the rest of this new 2020, a year of transition that could be anything but smooth.

Meanwhile, closer to home, it looks likely now that Spain will have a proper, sworn-in prime minister by next week. This means that after ten months of "acting" or "caretaking", Pedro Sánchez can start working with a new government that is no longer provisional.

The coalition, between Socialists and left-wing Unidas Podemos, that looks set to be approved next Tuesday, might not be everyone's cup of tea, but, as with Brexit, progress has to be made to get out of the current impasse.

It would be interesting to take a look at Sánchez's list of New Year's wishes and, especially, resolutions. Getting the best deal for Spaniards in the UK and Brits in Spain during the Brexit transition negotiations will hopefully have been among them.

What we should have wished for on New Year's Eve though is rain. 2019 was the driest calendar year on the Costa del Sol since records began in the 1940s. Temperatures are rising, but the steps taken and promises made at the recent climate change summit in Madrid were disappointing.

Tackling environment problems and introducing greener policies are hopefully among the 2020 resolutions for our new governments.

And while we may not be able to influence the decisions taken by our political leaders, it's not too late to include recycling more and using less plastic on our own resolutions list for 2020.