Rubber Hits the Brexit Road
Tomorrow marks a big day for Brexit, with the bill to trigger Article 50 likely to pass through the House of Commons on Monday. That’s led to speculation that Article 50 itself could be triggered before the end of week – essentially after nine months of prevarication the rubber will truly hit the (exit) road.
Frankly I’m still amazed at the approach Theresa May has adopted. Choosing to pursue the hardest possible Brexit without even a scrap of recognition or focus on the wants of the 48% who voted to remain – many of whom she will be looking at for votes in 2020. I understand it, by standing explicitly on the basis of the mandate of the 52% she feels safety in purity, reassurance in simplicity – “you’ve given me directions and I’m acting on them”. But my amazement comes from her folly in not even trying to prepare the Leavers she is delivering for of the complexity and inherent risks of attempting to strike a trade deal and amicably leave the EU within 24mths. I believe this is will ultimately be her undoing. There are a large proportion of the 52% who do not – and do not care to – understand the Herculean task that awaits the May government, and she has made no effort to prepare them for this. By not explaining the complexity of the process she will be hung by the simplistic analysis of success v failure.
She could have easily taken the tact below and lost ZERO political capital and ZERO Brexiteer support…
“With a clear mandate to deliver a future for Britain outside the European Union I will move ahead as quickly as possible to make this a reality. It is clear that as a country we voted to control our own borders and our own regulatory framework, therefore membership of the Single Market is a structural impossibility. I am the Prime Minister that will make your mandate a reality, and in doing so you must trust me to get the right deal for Britain alongside our European partners. But two years is not a long time, the vision I now share of a Global Britain, in complete control of its own destiny relies on this country being as economically secure in two years time as it is now. Compromise on some aspects of our short-term future will be necessary, as will be an understanding that March 2019 will not see the completion of the process of transforming 21st century Britain in the vision which both I and I believe the majority of the country forsee. It is therefore with confidence, but also realism that I will approach the negotiating and bargaining position of the United Kingdom. A Conservative government and a Conservative Prime Minister will deliver to change you require, but as your Prime Minister I must counsel the whole country on the complexity and difficulties the Government will face, but ultimately for the right ends.”
By not attempting to educate the 52% of the complexity of Brexit she will ultimately be skewered by the same 52% not accepting her inability to deliver a simplistic outcome. In other word she still hasn’t explained that having and eating cake are incompatible.
Incidentally, this is well worth a watch, personally I’m petrified at the prospect of having to make by own furniture…