Monday, 28 November 2016

Downing Street notes are nothing of note

It is difficult to know what to make of the supposed leak form Downing Street. To me it looks so vague that it is best ignored. On the back of this the Guardian concludes that the UK is now unlikely to stay in the single market. If that is indeed the trajectory then we have a problem. Not because this would indicate a hard Brexit based on Brexiteer principles because it definitely isn't that.

It would be because the government has such a thin grasp of the technical realities that they are considering some other avenue than the EEA, opening us up to a long, more complex, riskier negotiation to achieve more or less the same thing. If this is where the debate in Cabinet is still at then it is clear they are still struggling to grasp the basics - to a degree than makes even our media look informed by contrast. That is certainly not outside the realms of possibility.

But then a handwritten note photographed in hands of Tory aide in Downing Street is hardly an authoritative source. If it is a leak then it is testing the water of public opinion. If it isn't then it is the issue illiterate scrawl of an underling and not worth our time. In either case it is deeply depressing that this is the way politics is done now, especially on matters of such significance. Likely this will just add to the noise and another week will pass where Brexit means... er... Brexit.

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