Saturday, 24 June 2017

Can Brexit Be Stopped? The Answer Is In Our Hands

THE GUARDIAN: One year on, the certainties of the leave case are collapsing. We’re no longer shackled to that verdict

One year on, the political weather has changed and suddenly a once unthinkable question can be asked: might Brexit be stopped?

The obvious shift is in the power of a government whose animating mission was meant to be British departure from the European Union. Put simply, Theresa May sought a mandate for hard Brexit and didn’t get it. That leaves the forces of leave weakened, and remain emboldened.

It also shreds the boasts that formed the basis of May’s premiership: that she’d be able to get a great deal for Britain. Too weak to negotiate a deal with 10 MPs from the Democratic Unionist party, what hope does she have against 27 sovereign European nations? In a taste of humiliations to come, her opening offer on the rights of EU nationals in Britain was dismissed out of hand. But that is only the most obvious change.

The deeper, if less tangible, shift is that the case for leave is collapsing before our eyes. Its central, winning claim – that exit would bring £350m a week for the NHS – lives on now only as a punchline and case study in Trumpian dishonesty. It will endure as a short, sharp argument for why Boris Johnson must never be allowed to become prime minister, and may well stand between him and his party’s leadership. But most of all, it encapsulates the notion that leave won last year on a false prospectus. Johnson and the others promised a magical cake that could be simultaneously gobbled up and left untouched. Leave’s other big pledge was a fall in migration, but this week’s UK population figures, with a 5 million increase in a decade, confirm that EU migration has only ever been part of that story. Meanwhile, farmers and hospital managers alike warn of dire consequences if they cannot bring in essential workers from the continent. Already the numbers, whether of fruit-pickers or nurses, are in steep decline. Read on and comment » | Jonathan Freedland | Friday, June 23, 2017

Wouldn’t It Be In Our Best Interests to Ditch Brexit? » by Mark Alexander

The Great Brexit Divide » by Mark Alexander