Wednesday, 16 January 2019


It's all a bit of a mess, isn't it?

There is no clear way forward now that May's deal has been rejected. Many anti-deal people want options that involve the agreement of third parties, and therefore might be unavailable. They are wishing on unicorns.

The public split 52-48 on the Brexit referendum, and polling shows very little change in their view since then. Some polls show remain in the lead, some show leave. The country is still bitterly divided.

I have no answers. It is up to reasonable people in parliament to be sane and sensible, and they are proving to be unreasonable, far from sane and very, very silly.

In my view, the first question MPs and the wider public should ask is: "what is certainly deliverable?" The second question they should ask is: "what will the great British public support?"

I cannot see an answer that satisfies both these questions. Brexit has split the country, and it seems few people - especially MPs - are willing to compromise their views, even when those views are undeliverable or anathema to the public.

It is easy to think of options that suit individuals.

You might want a second referendum. But which options would be 'fair'? There is also precious little time for one to be held before the end of March.

You might want an extension to A50 beyond March 29th to allow more time to sort it out, but the EU might not want an extension beyond the next European elections - and besides, who says people will change their minds even if we give them an eternity?

You may want to cancel Brexit, but would the EU want us to remain in with the same conditions, rebates etc as before, or will we be forced deeper into their project? And if the result of the 2016 referendum is ignored, people might reasonably cry: "what price democracy?"

The only clearly deliverable option is no-deal Brexit, and that threatens to be disastrous to the economy and country: but that is only deliverable because nothing needs to be done for it to be delivered. It is the default.

So that is where we are heading: a no-deal, crash-out Brexit that will harm the country in many ways.

I hope I am wrong.

Politics is moving very fast at the moment, with May facing a vote of no confidence this evening. Sadly, it seems that the views of too many people are firmly entrenched.

No comments: