The May plan for Brexit

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In a little over 70 pages, Theresa May has confirmed the worst nightmare for Remainers. Not only is Britain leaving the EU, we are leaving the single market and the customs union too. This may mean immigration controls are being placed before economic growth. The political is being put before the economic. This is what she meant when she engaged in such sloganeering as “red, white and blue Brexit”. Speaking at Lancaster House, May deployed the language of internationalism, Theresa May laid out the contours of the plan for Britain to leave the EU and become a “great, global trading nation”. … Continue reading

Beyond the Circus: The EU Referendum

With the referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU less than two weeks away and after a brutal campaign that feels like it’s been going on forever it’s perhaps not surprising that a degree of fatigue is setting in. Indeed the public “debate” has been continually marred by the suspicion that this has more to do with factionalism within the Tory party than any genuine popular will, and the continued spectacle of government ministers tearing strips off each other in public is about as politically engaging as an episode of Jeremy Kyle. Exasperated audience members on Question Time cry “I … Continue reading

The Referendum of the Sinister Clowns.

I feel I’m being forced into this referendum by a political class that is intent on manipulation and jockeying for position, not for substantial social or political reasons. It hasn’t arisen from some profound demand by ‘the people’ to settle an issue of sovereignty and democracy. It’s been foisted on us. We need a politically savvy debate on just these issues, but this certainly isn’t it. No wonder so many people are switched off. None of our masters care a fig for ‘the sovereignty of the British people’, or ‘the democratic will and rights of  the citizen ‘ etc etc.’ It’s frivolous chatter. And … Continue reading