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 AvatarBen Vail 13th Dec - 4:47pm
    A great campaign, and a great leader; The message was good, the delivery was even better. Really sorry to see you go Jo, thank you.
  • User AvatarRichard Elliott 13th Dec - 4:39pm
    Paul Barker is right, we under estimated the lasting effects of coalition and didn't fully how the forthcoming GE, because of the Johnson/Corbyn dynamic, would...
  • User AvatarBarry Lofty 13th Dec - 4:25pm
    A very good speech Jo, hope you can at least enjoy a well earned rest with your family. I wonder if the message planted in...
  • User AvatarIan Different Ian 13th Dec - 4:24pm
    @Paul Holmes No, we should not shut up. The second Brexit happens, we should lead the campaign to rejoin. I'll say it again: only 43.6%...
  • User AvatarGraham Jeffs 13th Dec - 4:23pm
    I really am sick and tired of hearing about MPs or candidates because of their sex. I don't care one way or the other -...
  • User Avatarmalc 13th Dec - 4:15pm
    I think Jo needs to realise that most of the millions who voted for the Tories, Labour, the Brexit Party and the SNP are decent...
Tue 7th Jan 2020