A Rolls Royce being driven by drunksby Anand Menon / September 1, 2017 / Leave a comment
A picture, they say, paints a thousand words. And a recent—much discussed—photo certainly seemed to bear this out. A shot of David Davis sitting opposite his EU counterparts at the launch of Brexit negotiations on 17th July caused something of a twitter storm. Conservative columnist Fraser Nelson hit out at the amount of paperwork EU officials had taken to a welcome meeting. Others moaned that the picture revealed the UK’s lack of preparation, a claim taken up in a piece in the Guardian, while the Huffington Post went to town on David Brent comparisons.
Clearly, the picture itself told us nothing whatsoever about the government’s preparedness or otherwise for Brexit. But it has contributed to an increasingly widespread notion that the UK is simply not ready for the negotiations and their aftermath. Michel Barnier’s comments that there had been “no decisive progress” in the latest round of talks did little to dispel the concern. At the core of this discussion is a question mark over the preparedness of the machinery of government to handle this gargantuan task.