Could someone please turn the UK off and on again?

As of today Britain, long a beacon of stable democracy, cannot even hold a Cabinet meeting.

Things would be bad enough with past misconduct bringing Ministers into disrepute (and not just in London; one has also gone in Scotland), key party funders hiding tax offshore and the Government in any case lacking a parliamentary majority. However, the central issue remains that the Government is hopelessly divided over Brexit; and that the division is not ideological, but rather between those who have some notion of the real world and those who have none whatsoever.

The UK Government is stumbling towards a “no deal” Brexit not because it is what it wants (we need to be very clear there is no parliamentary majority and thus no democratic justification for a “no deal” outcome), but because it lacks the basic ability to understand what it is doing. The three main Brexiteer Ministers are lazy incompetent bunglers, incapable of understanding that the EU is far less the complexities of what leaving it actually means.

What is means is no material to carry out vital cancer treatments; no means of administering flights between the UK and the Continent or Ireland; no arrangements for transporting dangerous criminals across the UK border; and so the list goes on, making economic collapse and calamitously slashed government revenue for delivering public services almost the least of our problems. The fundamental issue is on the UK side – it does not understand that the EU is a Single Market of rules, and those rules cannot just be broken by a quick negotiation feint here and there.

We are probably already long past the stage where the only conceivable way out of this was to apply to join EFTA. That would at least have given a framework for cooperation, but with the UK Government so unstable (in every sense) and public life generally clearly in such a shambolic state, there is now a fair chance such an application would be rejected.

Let us just be clear: the UK Cabinet cannot meet.

That means the UK is fundamentally ungovernable.

This was not the case before 23 June 2016.

So in fact, now, the only definite way out of this is to rescind notification of Article 50.

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3 thoughts on “Could someone please turn the UK off and on again?

  1. korhomme says:

    There is usually a Cabinet on Tuesdays. Then we were there wasn’t going to be one. Then we heard it was cancelled because of the short parliamentary week — that sounds a very lame and irrelevant excuse. Then I read a list of all those causing trouble for the PM, so that any Cabinet would be a shambles of infighting.

    It seems clear that the PM has no authority, is no longer a leader of a government; and that the members of the executive are mostly fighting with one another. So, it’s not just the routine work of government that isn’t being done, it’s the major problems around Brexit. And the papers for that, which we were going to get today, seem not to exist.

    I cannot recall a time when the government appeared to be quite so incompetent and incapable as this one; and when so many ministers were simultaneously incompetent and incapable.

  2. James Hrabal says:

    Can the UK escind notification of Article 50

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