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The slow train crash that is Brexit briefly accelerated towards its destiny last week

Posted on: 22nd November 2018

The slow train crash that is Brexit briefly accelerated towards its destiny last week. The draft withdrawal agreement represents a significant achievement for the Prime Minister.

You may be astonished to learn that I admire her resilience. She’s done well to secure any kind of deal out of the histrionics and chaos that has been the Government’s Brexit negotiations.

I was a Remainer in the 2016 referendum. But accepted the result. I was prepared to give the Government a fair wind to see if it could indeed manage to secure a decent deal for the UK. I put my scepticism and doubts to one side.

Of course Teresa May’s job has been made more difficult by the perpetual tantrums of Brexit fantasists on her own side. Nevertheless I believe she’s done well to secure a potentially workable deal, even after finding herself check-mated by the UK’s own demands – eg. to be outside the Customs Union AND to avoid a hard border in Northern Ireland!

What we have now is not a good deal. It’s not even a moderately bad deal. But it is the ‘least worst’ deal on offer. Of course the Brexit extremists have contracted a bout of benefit-of-hindsight disease as they assure us they would have done better. It’s just they haven’t come up with a rational alternative that would survive the exacting scrutiny of a negotiation process.

My admiration for the Prime Minister’s skills of perseverance don’t go as far as endorsing the deal itself. Not that that would matter anyway, as it’s obviously already dead in the water.

The only other option now – i.e. no deal – may well be the preferred option of the fantasists. But it would be so disastrous I’m pretty sure even the current crop of parliamentarians wouldn’t let that get through either. (We must all surely hope that at some point the grown ups will take charge of the unruliness in the parliamentary playground).

So all deals get voted down. What to do next…?