Saturday 9 December 2017

Brexitwatch: at last - a defeat for the fanatics!

Nigel Farage really hates it. So there must be something good about the deal Theresa May has done to allow the UK to, probably, move on to the real Brexit negotiations.

Of course, all she has actually done is to kick the can down the road. As to what trade deal we can get with the EU, what transition arrangement there will be to stop the UK economy collapsing in March 2019, how the unicorns can be persuaded to fly in formation so that there is no border at the border between the EU and the UK in Ireland – all these issues and many more have simply been deferred.

But at least the head-bangers, the Brexit fanatics, did not get their heart’s desire of a suicidal, no-deal walk-out. And that probably represents the first time Theresa May has stood up to them.

People voted for Brexit for many different reasons – a lot of them contradictory and irreconcilable. Now there is a chance to drive a wedge into perhaps the most important fault-line – the one that divides the fanatics of UKIP and the Tory right who couldn’t care less how much Brexit damages the economy and just want to leave whatever the cost, and the more pragmatic Brexit-ers who believe, wrongly in my view, that leaving the EU will somehow make us more prosperous.  

There is a long way to go, but this is an important setback for the fanatics.

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