Monday, 13 June 2016

Brexitwatch: Project Leap in the Dark - 1

The thing that has surprised me most about the UK's EU Referendum campaign is how the anti-Europeans have been allowed to get away with saying virtually nothing about what they will do if we vote to leave. In this series, I am going to highlight some of the crucial questions to which they have given no answer.

The Breixters now seem to be getting cold feet about leaving. Michael Gove said if we voted for Brexit, he would try to delay invoking Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, which we have to do in order to quit, and that Britain would still be in the EU in 2020, though he later tried to deny this.

At the moment, the anti-Europeans have no idea what they will ask for from the EU, never mind whether the EU will agree to it. Sometimes they want to be like Norway, or perhaps Switzerland (though plenty of commentators have said these options will not be viable - All right then, like Canada, or (Gove's favourite) Albania. Or maybe we don't try to get a deal at all.

It is sobering that some of the Brexiters have been plotting against the EU for decades, and yet they have not been able to sign up a single country to agree to a single one of their ideas.

At other times Gove, Boris and Farage and co have said: don't worry because German carmakers and French cheesemakers will force the rest of Europe to give us a really good deal. 

In fact, any deal with the EU has to be agreed by all 27 countries, their national parliaments, and the European Parliament. The car and cheesemakers are going to have their work cut out to twist the arms of that lot!

And a deal has to be reached within two years. If it is not, the deadline can only be extended with the agreement of all 27 EU countries. You can understand why Gove and co are in such a panic.

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