Are we Enjoying This Yet?

Another week, another Brexit-related crisis. The Brexit Secretary David Davis and Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson have both resigned as the government lurches, seemingly without much control, toward some kind of deal with the EU over how things like trade and immigration will work, post-Brexit. I have said it before and I will say it again – we would not be in such a position of uncertainty if we had voted Remain, but here we are – ‘enjoying’ the fruits of that vote, with a government that has mismanaged the situation from the word go. The ignorance about it is best highlighted by Boris Johnson’s own resignation letter:

It is more than two years since the British people voted to leave the European Union on an unambiguous and categorical promise that if they did so they would be taking back control of their democracy.

They were told that they would be able to manage their own immigration policy, repatriate the sums of UK cash currently spent by the EU, and, above all, that they would be able to pass laws independently and in the interests of the people of this country.

We already had control of our democracy Boris. If we didn’t we would never have been able to hold a referendum. You were one of those who sold a lie, trading our economic security for the illusion of greater sovereignty. We are staring a huge Brexit divorce bill in the face and you, among others, have no clue how to negotiate a deal that would be of any benefit for us – indeed, we are abandoning deals that have benefited us, in favour of the Brexit lies you helped sell us.

Brexit should be about opportunity and hope. It should be a chance to do things differently, to be more nimble and dynamic, and to maximise the particular advantages of the UK as an open, outward-looking global economy.

That dream is dying, suffocated by needless self-doubt.

We have postponed crucial decisions – including the preparations for no deal, as I argued in my letter to you of last November – with the result that we appear to be heading for a semi-Brexit, with large parts of the economy still locked in the EU system, but with no UK control over that system.

Brexit was misleading. We were lied to about spending, costs etc. How can it be an opportunity when we are throwing away a position of certainty for one we cannot see even remotely clearly? Did we seriously believe we could kick the EU to the kerb and set up our own deals from a position of strength? We were never going to have the EU over a barrel, despite what we might have though. They are understandably looking to get the best deal for them, plus now, thanks to Brexit, as you say Boris, we are currently locked into that system but now we given up our ability to influence it. We are now more vulnerable than we have ever been, in no small part due to the ineptitude of you and your cronies. It wasn’t broken, didn’t need fixing and yet we took a hammer to it anyway.