So, Theresa May has finally said something intelligible about her intentions regarding the UK’s departure from the EU. It’s not much – and will be economically damaging – but at least her announcement that immigration controls trump (pun intended) full free market access is less nebulous than the dross she’s been doling out so far.
However, ‘habits mean habits’, so it only took seconds for something equally meaningless to become the latest soundbite: the ‘best possible deal’.
The problem is that ‘best possible’ might mean ‘absolute crap’, if absolute crap is the best you can get. And it’s likely to be.
This author has seen a number of films – it’s a fairly common device – in which someone if, for example, being engulfed in flames and someone puts a bullet in them to bring a ‘merciful’ end to their suffering.
Being shot in the head is crap – but it’s ‘the best possible deal’ when you’re on fire with no hope of survival.
The UK is not – at least yet – on fire with no hope of survival. But it’s simply realism to recognise that the other EU nations have nothing to gain by making life easy for a departing UK and much to gain by making it hard, ‘pour encourager les autres’ – to stiffen the spines and resolve of any other governments thinking of giving their electorate the chance to decide to leave, which would likely start a ‘domino effect’.
So the bullishness of Boris Johnson and David Davies is excessive. The ‘we buy more from them’ argument holds no water when the ‘more’ is a relatively small amount for each individual nation and the other side of the scale is weighed down by the potentially drastic political and economic consequences of giving the UK an easy ride and sending a message to others that all this ‘jumping ship’ is painless.
For what it’s worth, this writer thinks that leaving the EU is inevitable now and there’s nothing to be gained by fighting it. As the old joke goes, ‘You wouldn’t want to start from here’ – it’s just about the worst possible starting point for where we need to get to, but we are where we are.
But it’s time that Theresa May and her government stopped using nonsense like ‘the best possible deal’ to try to avoid carrying the can for failing to achieve something by not actually aiming to achieve anything.
The ‘best possible’ might mean a merciful ‘death’. The government that got us into this mess needs to tell us what it aims to achieve – and accept accountability for actual success of failure in achieving it.
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