Tuesday 27 November 2018

Brexit may be a shambles, but need not be

'I still travel abroad a lot of my time, and I am very conscious of how the rest of the world views this country. Contrary to what many might think, most people overseas have taken the idea of Brexit in their stride, and it has not fundamentally changed what they think of Britain. But becoming a complete shambles is another matter.

'I don’t know what will follow a decisive rejection of the deal. It could be a constitutional shambles, a second referendum shambles, a no-deal exit shambles or a Corbyn government shambles. I just know that it will be an abysmal shambles whatever would happen next. People who say that the deal is the worst of all worlds haven’t understood how bad things might get.'

William Hague in the Daily Telegraph today, arguing manfully for Mrs. May's deal. I believe that people do not think worse of Britain because of Brexit and that they will think worse of us if the outcome is a shambles, but it is clear that her deal is a shambles. I think a worse shambles than no deal. certainly a much bigger one than the Norwegian, Swiss or Canadian models which we could have copied and probably still can.

Importantly, it is not a shambles because Brexit had to be a shambles but because of clever negotiating by Michel Barnier and a long series of egregious and unforced mistakes that Mrs. May has made, the biggest of which is guaranteeing that there will not be customs checks on the Northern Irish border. 

To remind you of them briefly, Juliet Samuel lists here Mrs May's many and grave Brexit mistakes in one minute.

Theresa May has the duplicity and thick skinned persistence that facilitate success in politics, but none of the other qualities a Prime Minister needs, least of all honesty or intelligence.

Journalist Bruce Anderson wants Lord Hague to renounce his peerage and come back to the Commons to lead his party and country. This is not a good idea, clever and eloquent though the man who destroyed Libya is.

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