Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Brexit: treading water

As I understand it, silly season is upon us. As ever I struggle to notice a difference. One would think there was a necessity to keep pressing on the Brexit front but it would seem the chatterati have lost interest and instead are gossiping about BBC presenter salaries. I wish I could join in but I really don't care. I have never bought a TV licence and I'm never going to.

Distressingly though, Brexit seems to have slipped from the agenda. All we're getting is amateurish recycled material, and even though it's important and it does need to be said by as many as possible, it is not penetrating the bubble and still there is no sign of sanity prevailing.

This makes it all the more difficult to blog in that it is incredibly difficult to write pro-Brexit material when the Brexit that could be good is slipping through our fingers by the day. It barely seems worth the trouble climbing into the detail in order to look for solutions and ideas when it looks like our sole activity on Brexit day will be disaster recovery. If this goes the way it looks to be going then all plans and big ideas will go out of the window.

I should take some heart though. Throughout we've been told that people would listen if only we were less abrasive, but now most of the media seems to be catching up along with many of the more neutral sources - and they are not getting through either.

It amuses me greatly that in last night's meeting of Bristol for Europe, apart from the whole remaining in the EU thing, there was little in Mike Galsworthy's analysis I could disagree with. It's going off the rails, the government hasn't a clue and it doesn't seem like anybody can get through. Galsworthy and his colleagues have produced endless reports and presented evidence to select committees and have got nowhere - and nobody can say Dr Galsworthy's behaviour is anything less than impeccable. He shows far more patience than I. 

Meanwhile the public debate, what's left of it, is still a jaded rehash of the referendum and it has not progressed even an inch. Die hard remainers are still calling us xenophobes and Brexiteers are still hell bent on the most suicidal Brexit possible having learned precisely zero about the process over the last twelve months.

It would seem the only way to communicate anything to anybody in respect of Brexit is to tell them what they want to hear and nothing else, which largely makes any communication utterly redundant. In the meantime, we're not getting anywhere close to the details. The bickering over the "exit bill" is only just beginning but this will be reduced to a tedious biff-bam showdown where the media gets distracted by the trivialities - and assuming our government is not crass enough to walk out, the UK will capitulate.

As far as I see it, this won't get interesting until we hit the wall of the Northern Ireland question. When that happens, that's when we will need to see some grown up decision making. There is no discussing that issue without raising the means by which goods will cross borders and that will have a considerable influence on where this goes. This is when the empty nostrums of the Tories will start to fall apart and it will become increasingly clear that our options are few. Hopefully that is when the noose of reality will tighten around the neck of David Davis.

Even that, though, at this point, seems overly optimistic. The Tories have demonstrated an impressive ability to evade reality even when the chips are down. It will probably take a major crisis for the penny to drop. That makes this a waiting game. We can do nothing but tread water until we know more. Anybody with any sense would go on holiday.

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