Populism is popular because it is easy. Easy is not the same as simple, simplicity comes through the tough distillation of complex questions into essential truths, simple can be easy but easy is not necessarily simple. No deal Brexit seems easy but is not simple.
Writing in the Spectator this week, James Kirkup has this to say
“The no-deal debate in the UK is like the Brexit conversation as a whole, plagued by short-term analysis. Even sensible politicians talk about ‘getting Brexit done’ so we can ‘move on’ to other issues. That overlooks the fact that even if we could agree a withdrawal deal, we’d still face years of negotiating our future relationship”.
He goes on to ask the essential question we should be asking Boris Johnson and his allies in the Brexit party
even if you’re right and no deal doesn’t wreck the UK economy and break your government, what happens next?
Populism is coming to town
Unsurprisingly, Donald Trump is endorsing Boris Johnson as our next Prime Minister. Driving down the M40 last night I saw a massive hay trailer loaded with a “welcome Mr President” message – parked in a field and draped in Union Jacks.
Populism is coming to town and with it the hope that all these nasty problems that are boring us, can be taken from us by Johnson, Farage and Trump.
It’s an attractive idea so long as you don’t think about the consequences.
We could as a country regress into a primitive state where the antics of these thee were deemed acceptable, because they commanded 52% of the popular vote some day in 2016. But I am quite sure that leaving Europe without a deal was not what politicians were promising then – nor was the extension of the Brexit deadline.
Populism has come to town but the transatlantic alliance between these three men is now a serious threat to Britain as there seems very little between now and the end of October to stop a no-deal Brexit happening.
How no-deal will be avoided
There are two institutions that can and I hope will stop us crashing out of Europe without a parachute. The first is the UK parliament and the second is the European parliament.
The House of Commons has agreed not to allow a no-deal Brexit not to happen and the only way that might happen if we were to act unilaterally is for it to scrap Brexit and remain. I don’t think this is going to happen between now and the end of October but I think this is becoming the likeliest long-term resolution of the current problem
The European parliament, even after the changes brought about by last month’s election, is still dominated by a power-block that is quite capable of extending Britain’s Brexit deadline into 2020 and beyond. I believe that that is what it will offer us and I think that that is what we will take. We will not be able to leave with no deal and there is no deal we can support – other than the oft rejected Withdrawal Bill.
No deal is going to be avoided because it is easy to kick the can down the road and right now – the only way to move at all – is to move sideways.
In the meantime
In the meantime we are going to have to endure a lot of jaw-jaw from the Brexit party and homilies from the discredited Tory leaders. In the meantime the good people of Europe will see us using these few months grace granted us in March, to do nothing.
In truth – nothing is fast becoming the only option on the table, and I don’t mean by “nothing” – no deal. Nothing to me is about admitting that for all our want of trying, we haven’t found a way to leave Europe that commands enough support to get Brexit over the line.
I am an evidence-based voter, I vote on the basis of what I can see and I can see that no-deal is easy to talk about but will lead to complex problems that populists can’t be bothered to think about.
All the evidence tells me is that it is not the politicians that have failed so much as Brexit. IF no-deal Brexit is the best we can do, I want no Brexit and I think I am now part of the majority of Britains in this.
In the meantime, both the two major political parties are so split that were they cricket bats- they couldn’t be used for French cricket. French cricket is a pretty useful phrase to describe what they’re like.
How I hope we can move on
The Liberal and Green parties (together with the breakaway Change thingy) would do well to settle any differences and establish a solid platform to which refugees from Labour and Conservative can stand.
If someone can step forward – perhaps Gina Miller – perhaps Jo Swinson , perhaps Caroline Lucas and become the spokesperson for Remain , then I suspect this coalition may have serious influence both in Westminster and in Brussels
We need an alternative to populism around which we can rally to .
We need to say no to “no-deal” and yes to a way forward that works. Since 1972 there has been one way forward for Britain that has worked, it is called membership of the European Union.
— The Telegraph (@Telegraph) 26 May 2019
Johnson has no deal but “no-deal” and this tweet is as vacuous as his statement with which I started this blog.