The independent London newspaper

The revocation of Article 50 could help

14 December, 2018

Theresa May ‘couldn’t see the wood for the trees’

• I SUPPOSE it should have come as no surprise that Theresa May would cancel the vote on her proposed Brexit withdrawal deal.

Despite it being a clear case of A Chronicle of Defeat Foretold the reality came as a shock. Not so much for the event as for what it symbolised: a complete and utter failure of British politics.

The most obvious failing was May’s political misjudgment in even bringing forward a deal that had no hope of satisfying the House of Commons.

In part that was down to the intransigence of the Tory Ultras in the European Research Group, who will never compromise on anything less than a hard Brexit.

For them Brexit is a means to another end, the complete transformation of our economy and society. But a sizeable group of moderate Tories no longer support their own government.

May has clearly been so blinkered that she couldn’t see the wood for the trees. Brexit is so big and so complex that it’s probably impossible for any minority government to deliver on the referendum without crashing the economy and severely damaging people’s lives.

It must now be clear that the very premise of Brexit as an “event” is ridiculous. If it happens at all, it must be a “process”.

You simply can’t unravel 45 years of treaties, economic development, harmonised regulations and institutions overnight.

Now that the European Court of Justice has ruled that the United Kingdom can revoke the Article 50 withdrawal letter, Mrs May should do so.

It won’t solve the Brexit dilemma but it could save us from chaos even while the arguments rage on.

Richmond Grove, N1


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