Monday, 12 June 2017

Not optimistic.

We are a week from beginning the most intensive negotiations since World War Two. Bizarrely we have already initiated the proceedings yet still there is no plan, no indication that the government understands the territory and there has been no preparatory work. By now we should have seen evidence of shuttle diplomacy and scoping yet there is nothing of note to slip out. The entire political establishment has turned inward and still there is no substantive debate about Brexit. Anything but thus far. This is farcical. A lot of what we're seeing is displacement activity - as if it were business as usual.

What passes for Brexit debate is largely limited to Twitter but it's thin on the ground and still bogged down in the usual inaccurate tropes. I hesitate to wade in simply because these debates fall into familiar patterns where nobody can be convinced of anything regardless of how much effort you go to. There are some encouraging signs among the Brexit thinkers that the EEA is the closest thing to a solution but whether this permeates the political bubble remains to be seen. There are too many conflicting agendas and there is no coherence on any side.

One might now venture that if the government has not got its act together by now then it probably never will. If it's as bad as it looks negotiations will be short lived and we will crash out over an inconsequential and unnecessary spat. At this point I don't see the EU doing anything to stop us largely out of exasperation. It will simply let us self-destruct.

Worse still it now looks like there is nothing we can do to stop it either. Since we are without a rudder and drifting toward the rapids all we can really do is cling on for dear life. For it to be any different we would need to see a rapid turnaround in both attitude and tone. We need our politicians to get informed and start taking it seriously instead of grandstanding and pratting about. I don't see it happening.

I'm no longer one to make predictions but it seems to me at the moment that Brexit talks will crash well before the next election - and May will not be the leader to fight it. I cannot say who is likely to replace her. Be it Johnson or Rees-Mogg, or one of the remain inclined nobodies, it's fair to say that the Tories won't be able to stop Corbyn.

There is no coming back from a failed Brexit. I may even vote Labour myself just to see the Tories sent to oblivion. From there Corbyn will be so awful and so divisive that he'll wreck the entire political system. The government will crash within months and the Tories won't be able to recover anything from the wreckage. From there we will be at ground zero. A failed state with a blank slate. Perhaps that really is where we need to be to sort out this mess. If that is our fate then let it be sooner rather than later.

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