Comment & Opinion
So, the children snatched the keys of the family car. They haven’t a clue how to drive it. They’ve locked the doors. You can’t make them listen. You watch helplessly. It shudders forward as they fight amongst themselves. They won’t unlock or take notice until they’ve driven it into the sea. They’re convinced it’s amphibious!
What can you do? How can we stop them driving over the cliff?
…The story of Brexit so far.
But I don’t believe the car will topple off the cliff. It’ll either run out of fuel, conk out, hit a tree or run into a ditch. The occupants may be badly injured. But letting the consequences of their naïve bluster come face to face with harsh and unforgiving reality would be far worse.
Brexit will unravel. Most but not all of the ingredients are there.
The Government will never put a figure on UK liabilities; fearing the consequences of a backlash from their own supports if the figure isn’t a big fat zero! There’s no plausible solution to the Irish border conundrum. Neither ‘soft’ nor ‘transitional’ arrangements are possible so long as the shrill voices of Tory Europhobes dominate the airwaves.
In truth, negotiations have already all but broken down. Theresa May’s European counterparts may feel genuine sympathy for the impossible position in which she now finds herself. But this’ll count for nothing during merciless deal settling.
However, many ‘Remainers’ have become ‘futile resigners’; in that they are resigned to leave and believe it’s futile to hold out hope of stopping it.
In spite of the daily diet which exposes the Brexit negotiators’ buffoonery, humiliation and chaotic ineptitude most have given up or are convinced it would be improper to deny brexiteers their entitlement… even if it’s an entitlement to undermine Britain’s economic prospects, it’s standing in the world, and to become more isolationist and inward-looking. A crucial factor favouring brexit is the persistence of public opinion which still appears to be on side.
On the other hand, the Brexit campaign has a fatal flaw. At its core are folk who even David Cameron reasonably described as “fruitcakes, loonies and closet racists”, and who can also be found in large numbers in his own Party. They are more motivated by hatred (of the EU and foreigners) than of wanting “their country back”. They don’t just want to leave the EU they want to fatally damage it as well.
The enmity that lies at its heart will eat away at its core.
But constantly banging on about second referendums is counterproductive. It’s perceived as the ill-considered ranting of a snobbish metropolitan liberal elite and has merely galvanised support for Brexit. When things really start unravelling it will be a few brave brexiteers themselves who’ll be calling for the second referendum.
All that’s needed is to expose Brexit to the intense spotlight. Transparency, good reporting and effective scrutiny is enough to expose the destructive absurdity and chaos of Brexit.
Left to its own devices and exposed to reasonable scrutiny Brexit will unravel on its own.
One part of this will be another snap election next year, so be ready for that too…