Tag Archives: decision impossible

Decision Impossible: Why Brexit Will Fail, part 2

Yesterday, in part 1, Richard looked at the issue of trust. Today, his attention turns to the internal contradictions of Brexit…

Brexit is going to fail. We know that.

That doesn’t mean that the Quitter side isn’t going to be able to take Britain out of the EU. Although the internal contradictions have been a big part of what has kept us in – and way past first Mrs May’s leaving date and now Boris Johnson’s leaving date, both of which were set in stone, both of which went past without us leaving – we have to face the possibility that if the Tories win, or possibly even if Labour win the 2019 General Election, we will finally leave the EU, either in January 2020 or later.

But we can be sure that the promises made by the supporters of Leave and the Vote Leave campaign will not, cannot be fulfilled.

Because to govern is to choose, but the heart of Brexit is a refusal to make the difficult choices over what Brexit Britain wants.

Some three-and-a-half years after the Referendum campaign there is still no clear consensus on what Brexit actually means. The fatuous slogans “Brexit Means Brexit” and “Get Brexit Done” cover up this key indecision at the heart of Britain’s government and the Leave movement itself.

While there are almost as many Brexits are there were voters, with Vote Leave’s Cambridge-Analytica-driven campaign customising a Brexit to virtually each voter, it’s clear that among them are three big strands:

  • First, the Faragist “no immigrants” Brexit.
  • Second, the sovereignty-first “take back control of our laws” Brexit.
  • And third, the deregulate everything economy Brexit (often linked with the “no deal” or “World Trade Organisation Terms” brands, although those things do not necessarily lead to deregulation).

It ought to be obvious at a glance that these three are all incompatible. We cannot deregulate and at the same time highly regulate our migration. We cannot take charge of our own laws and at the same time sign away sovereignty to the WTO or to Trump in a UK-US free trade deal.

To avoid this contradiction, government and Leave spokespeople pick one and pretend all Brexit is about their one. The media complicity in this, by setting any “debate” between Remain and one-at-a-time versions of Brexit, has left Remainers struggling to land consistent blows when fighting this many-headed hydra of a Brexit.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 6 Comments
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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarRichard Underhill 2nd Jun - 4:49pm
    Nicholas Belfitt | Tue 2nd June 2020 - 3:05 pm Can you be constitutional AND radical AND popular on a sufficient scale? All at the...
  • User AvatarGordon 2nd Jun - 4:40pm
    Interesting. Thanks.
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  • User Avatarn hunter 2nd Jun - 4:01pm
    noncomformistradical article is VERY interesting. I also found revealing the articles on Raab and McVey. It helps you to know where/who the Tory brexiteers are...
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    Jo Grimmond's principles were the reason I joined the party all those years ago and now I want a leader whose performance will remind me...
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