Cometh the hour cometh the resignations?

Cometh the hour cometh the resignations?

by Miles Saltiel
article from Tuesday 13, November, 2018

SO NOW we have a draft deal, which Theresa May is to try to sell overnight to her cabinet. By this time tomorrow, she will either have bulldozed them ahead of the formal cabinet meeting earlier in the day, or there will be substantial resignations. 

If the former, it is hard to believe it will be other than an abdication of responsibility all round; if the latter, the first stages of a constitutional crisis. 

This is the consequence of the policy approach by the most abject prime minister of my lifetime. Although we have not seen the fine print, we know that it is based on her Chequers proposals, which deny one of the central purposes of Brexit: trade agreements on goods with third parties. In the absence of black-letter text, we cannot say what else might have been given away on cash, timing and sovereignty. But the precedents are not encouraging.

We should now expect a pincer movement. 

First relief, if not approval, from May's parliamentary loyalists, the glee-club she has confected from manufacturing industry, the civil service and the media, together with the generality of the Remainer camp, offering crocodile tears as they bemoan "the best possible in these unwanted circumstances". 

Second, an intensification of Project Fear played at 11 on the volume knob, with hand-wringing accounts of patients dying for lack of drugs, children starving for lack of food, criminals remaining at liberty, workers thrown onto the dole, airplanes circling over Heathrow and lorries stacked up from Sevenoaks to Dover. 

This will be intended to distract from the question of "how is this better?", with "how much worse could it be?" For a more realistic account of the "No deal" alternative, leaf through the IEA's scholarly Plan A - creating a prosperous post-Brexit UK.

After eighteen months of unedifying intrigue, we have reached the hinge upon which Brexit is to turn.

In the absence of extraordinary political events, the wind will forever be behind this ill-judged policy. Make no mistake: the House of Commons is waiting to be sullenly whipped into line.

Even if a coherent political force could be engineered out of a split and ill-led opposition and a governing party in like condition, the responsibility sits first with those who purported to lead Brexit, now backbenchers and semi-detached ministers. 

The next twenty-four hours will reveal whether they have the strategy, discipline and courage to rectify a disastrous outcome.

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