Only one thing more clueless than UK Government on #Brexit…

There is only one thing more clueless than the UK Government on Brexit, and that is the UK Opposition.

The Conservative stance is ludicrous but not quite unbelievable. On 23 June, 17 million people voted for a fantasy. Now the Conservatives have been caught with no plan to deliver on that fantasy – because, of course, it cannot be delivered upon. A competent Government would admit that, and move on to Plan B. Sadly, a competent government is not remotely what we have.

The Labour stance is ludicrous and unbelievable. Most Labour voters voted Remain; those who did not are the ones being disproportionately affected by the consequent mess – as Sterling declines and the cost of living rises, it is those on low and fixed incomes in Sheffield and Sunderland who are suffering the most. Yet even this most left-wing of Labour parties is unwilling to help. Instead of saying it will back Article 50 only once there is a coherent plan to protect those people who are genuinely “vulnerable” from such currency and cost-of-living shocks, the Labour leadership has rolled over. It too should adopt Plan B as its counter-strategy. Sadly, a competent opposition is not what we have either.

(This lack of competence was, for the record, horribly demonstrated in the aftermath of the Autumn Statement where one Labour front bencher was clearly unaware of the difference between the Single Market and the Customs Union, ending up arguing that the UK could do its own Trade Deals from within the Customs Union – never mind pausing to wonder why the UK would want to do its own Trade Deals anyway in the current global climate. This is basic stuff, but such incompetence now seems to be electorally beneficial.)

Most people want controls on immigration; most people want free trade with Continental Europe. But most people want lower taxes and higher public spending too. The UK can only deliver what is negotiable – and “immigration controls with free trade” are no more available as a negotiation outcome than “low taxes with high public spending”. But, of course, it may get close with Plan B… not least since “Plan A” seems to consist of holding fingers in ears and hoping it all just goes away £58.7b at a time.

One thought on “Only one thing more clueless than UK Government on #Brexit…

  1. The Listener says:

    I think that you misread the situation. For better or for worse, leaving the E.U. was the declared will of the people. If it is a hard Brexit, so be it. If a sensible working relationship can be reached well and good. The kernel of the problem was that the leadership in Brussels could not emphathise with the fears of a large number of the U.K. population over unfettered Freedom of Movement. It is not the fault of the U.K. that it has been a magnet for E.U. Emigrants, especially those from the less well off countries of the East. If some slack through empathy, had been cut for the Cameron government many people, including me, would have not voted to leave the E.U. By “slack” I mean that for at least a limited period of time, subject to review, those who wished to come to the U.K. could do so for educational purposes, whilst others could come with prior arranged employment but avoiding those areas of the country were housing and support facilities are incapable in the face of heavy migration and were local friction probable.

    EU survival will now require true leadership and empathy, with a review of the rules regarding the Euro.

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