The last three years have been a disagreeable voyage of discovery, leaving the nation sadder and wiser, in particular as to the failings of half-hearted negotiation. To repeat my last post, our diplomats set no test for the EU’s goodwill; never raised the stakes by walking out; rolled over for the EU’s sequencing and its separation of the Withdrawal Agreement from subsequent relations; did nothing to counter the principle and unconditionality of payments; neglected to make their case directly to EU member-states, industry or citizens - or to the world at large; and failed to prep the UK public or make adequate provision for failed negotiations. (Please forgive the self-serving comment, but all of these matters were flagged up well ahead of time, here and here.)
So we’re left with a pig in a poke: a negotiation outcome which offers five ways to kybosh the Brexit for which a majority voted three years ago
So five separate ways to dish Brexit, jointly or severally supported by the Prime Minister, the Leader of the Opposition, most political parties, a majority of MPs and the Lords, and much of the media, academia, industry and finance. They are not however, supported by the Cabinet, Commons or local Tories, or the country. Even collectively they still seem unlikely.
But as best I understand it, the nation faces just one narrow path by which it might achieve what most would recognise as Brexit.
So four separate contingencies, the third of which in particular looks like a real stretch.
My sense is that we are moving towards a general election in which the Tories rally to Leave and Labour to Remain. Both call for a change of leadership direction - probably of leader. The Tories seem to be heading that way, but I can’t see Labour doing so without an election defeat. And they may win, in which case Brexit will join the general chaos in prospect. It all depends on the next Tory leader who, heaven knows, will have a steep hill to climb. It might just be done.