Tuesday, 16 August 2016

A debate going nowhere

Twitter is both frustrating and amusing this week. Hacks at the height of silly season are desperate for any morsel of Brexit related news. They are wasting their time. The Brexit efforts are lead by people who don't know what they want, have no idea what is achievable and even less idea what is involved. Hacks are desperate to read some kind of affirmative signals into it but we are nowhere close to that.

In most respects the technical debate has not moved on from the referendum with most still barely past the basics. It's tempting to wade in and slap a few of them around but there's really no point. There is nothing so obstinate as egotistical certitude and they will continue to say that black is white and that cats can bark. Frankly, I am sick of it. We have a torrent of people purporting to be experts going over issues which should have been resolved months ago.

What is most perplexing is that the answer are there. They just don't want to know. Everybody is talking, nobody is listening and everyone has an axe to grind. They are building their own parallel universe where reality does not intrude and if they were to acknowledge reality then they would have nothing to speculate over. They are indulging largely for the sake of projecting their egos and filling space. Last week it was Norway, this week it's Canada. It's like watching a particularly stupid canine chasing passing cars.

The chief invention of theirs is that business wants the single market but they have collectively decided among them that this is not possible because of freedom of movement. They are determined to deny the existence of the Liechtenstein precedent whereby safeguard measures could be adapted to become a quota system. If they acknowledge it exists then all this agenda driven bickering simply can't continue. And where is the fun in that?

But then part of the agenda is to deny that there is a practical means of securing Brexit that presents a passable compromise. Remainers are pushing us into a hard Brexit scenario in the hope that, when confronted with the political reality of doing so, parliament will call the whole thing off. The idea is to make it look like we've painted ourselves into a corner and that the only option open to us is a suicidal one.

We have seen repeated attempts to kill off the EEA option, with FT staffers now proclaiming that the option is dead and that we must instead push for an FTA. The dishonesty here is that they know this is not possible. By the time you factor in all the legacy issues and the dependencies then what you have is something very similar to the EEA so why not use that same treaty mechanism?

But no, we can't have that conversation. We have to wait for these prats to finish speculating on things they know absolutely fuck all about - and that won't stop until the "three Brexiteers" stop dithering. In short, this is going nowhere and there is no point even engaging.

It may be that these fools never face reality and this will go round in circles forever. In that case, given a few more months of this interminable lack of focus, you might well find me also demanding "invoke article 50 now". If these people can't get their act together then it looks like will will have to to suck it up and push the button. The government is not taking impartial advice. It is being manipulated by multiple agendas, many with the intent of seeing Brexit fail. It's one to watch closely, and there is good reason to approach Article 50 with caution but if we continue in this state of disarray then there is nothing to lose by forcing their hand.

For the time being though, we have to be patient. We are still in silly season and we have some months to go before things get serious. Between now and the next session of parliament there is no reason to take anything from our media seriously. It is a waste of our time.

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