Helen (heleninwales) wrote,
Helen
heleninwales

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Brexit thoughts

(I'm trying to keep politics out of my LJ because it's an online haven of calm in the midst of all the stormy social media, but these thoughts have been going round in my head and I wanted to make a note of them.)

Reading Ian Dunt's recent post on the current state of play in May's attempts to push Brexit through, I've realised that the basic problem we are facing right now is that people are liking the idea of things, but don't like any of the real, practical steps necessary to get there. It's like the person who says they want to write a novel because they like the idea of being a writer, but they won't sit down at the word processor day after day to actually do it. Or the person who fancies running a marathon and boasts that they'll do it one day, but won't actually get out of bed early in order to go for a run to train before work.

Leave won the referendum because people liked the idea of being free from the EU and able to pursue their fantasy future where Britain bestrides the world like a colossus. But the minute any version of "leave" is pinned down in detail, it's not acceptable to a large swathe of Leave voters and the only way they can cope with the very real downsides to leaving the EU is to declare it "project fear".

The same now applies to parliament. The majority of MPs don't want No Deal, but they won't support the motions that would prevent it nor push to take real steps to remove it from the table. The Leave supporting MPs still like the idea of leaving, but won't vote for May's withdrawal agreement which, given the red lines she was given to work with, is the best deal available.

Politics used to be called the "art of the possible". Somehow that got forgotten and now our political system is completely broken.
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