Friday, 24 August 2018

Lost in Brexit Limbo

For all that we've had eight months of noise from the government since we last made any substantive progress we still know nothing about what the government is playing at. We do not know the endgame and there are too many elements in flux to call it.

This is not helped by our coprophagiac media, for whom the Chequers plan is still a chess piece on the board, oblivious to the fact that Barnier has, in so many words, already ruled it out. The big league TV news correspondents are not equipped to assess the situation so they feed the cycle of misinformation that distorts the public debate.

The Brexiters I largely filter out are now convinced that Chequers is a May-Merkel conspiracy to remain in all but name, and there are still those in the media equating Chequers with a "Norway style deal". There is, therefore, a sizeable demographic who see events through a warped media prism and their version of events is happening only in a parallel universe somewhere.

But then we can't expect the media to know what's happening when the "government" doesn't actually know. There isn't a single government view. There are different views which change over time. At the heart of this, the government is presented with a problem which, in its terms, is insoluble. They are, therefore, thrashing around, more or less in the hope that something will turn up. This latest insanity from Dominic Raab is very much part of the continuum.

Raab seems to think that if we're nice to the EU and don't erect any barriers to their goods, they'll be nice to use and not erect any against ours. We can just carry on as normal and pretend Brexit hasn't happened. They can play this right down to the wire.

If by then they have convinced themselves that the EU will play nice, a "no deal" will hold no terrors for them and they'll let it happen, in the expectation that the UK can continue as before. This is actually the most terrifying of all scenarios as it means that the government will not make anything other than token preparations and will have no mitigation in place. They have no idea what will hit them.

It is ironic that the Tory Brexit blob should expend so much effort in promoting the WTO option when really all they need do is let events drift to their depressingly inevitable conclusion. Perhaps this is why BrexitCentral is now run by teenage interns. Spending money on it is overkill.

We are, therefore, in a bizarre no mans land where none of the power brokers, in so much as anybody is able to wield authority, is working on real world answers. Mrs May is caught up in her Chequers delusion, the Tory right is obsessed with "WTO tariffs", Raab is looking for a "no deal" deal, and the remoanoids are busy campaigning for a referendum that isn't going to happen. The only person working on a final solution is Jeremy Corbyn, and it's not related to Brexit.

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