It’s fair to say that Brexit isn’t going as anyone had hoped. If you don't believe me, just ask Arron Banksby Tom Clark / November 14, 2018 / Leave a comment
Published in December 2018 issue of Prospect Magazine
It’s fair to say that Brexit isn’t going as anyone had hoped. Don’t take my word for it, ask the bankroller of Leave.EU, Arron Banks, who in November said he was so despairing at the direction it had taken that “if I had my time again I think we would have been better to probably remain and not unleash these demons.”
The public is having some second thoughts too. The headline Leave vs Remain balance has moved modestly, though possibly materially given the original 52-48 split. Our new polling probes under the surface, where myriad doubts are setting in. Thanks, perhaps, to chauvinist chancers like Banks more voters than not look back on the original referendum as “unfair and illegitimate.” More Britons than not also suspect that we will one day end up asking to rejoin—and they also judge, from what they’re seeing of Brexit, that it is weakening and not strengthening Britain’s international voice. Indeed, the former head of MI6, John Sawers, affirms several specific ways in which we could soon become a lonelier country in an insecure world.
As I write, there is talk of a “deal” but even if this comes to fruition, it might well be more of a divorce settlement than a definitive plan for future relations. Many fraught questions may be answered with haze until after we’re out of the club. Another serving of fudge might well be Theresa May’s best political hope of survival at the top of the Tory Party, but for the country, negotiating as an outsider can—surely—onl…