LeaveHQ, 15/06/2017  

One bizarre facet of the online Brexit debate is that it happens in an alternate universe to those who influence government policy. It has meandered for many months but only now it is coming to a crunch point do we see minds starting to focus on practical solutions for Brexit. It would appear that the EEA as an interim is now the consensus view among academics, lawyers, journalists, remainers of all stripes and pragmatic leavers.

While previously the debate has been bogged down in confusion and misuse of distinct terms, there seems to have been a turnaround where people are finally getting to grips with it. That would be encouraging if it in any way influenced decision making at the heart of government. Sadly, it doesn't.

It would seem that the same entrenched ideas from the Tory fringes still rule the roost. The appointment of Steve Baker MP as the junior Brexit secretary tells us this. Just hours after his appointment he said: “We need a good, clean exit which minimises disruption and maximises opportunity. In other words, we need the ‘softest’ exit consistent with actually leaving and controlling laws, money borders and trade.”

This is essentially a more verbose variant of "Brexit means Brexit" and there is, as yet, no change to policy. In its own infinite wisdom this government believes we can have our cake and eat it. You have to hand it to him. To the uninitiated "clean Brexit" sounds perfectly reasonable. No loose ends, no looking back and everything tied up neatly before we go on our merry way.

As ever it comes down to the age old question. Is this naivety, dishonesty or both? That's actually the only easy question in this whole debate. It's both. We can say for a fact that the more technical problems have been raised with these people but issues are casually swept aside while the inner circle disseminate propaganda in support of an obviously flawed approach. This is why we're worried.

The very notion of a "clean Brexit" is dishonest. There is no clean Brexit, only degrees of very messy. To us the cleanest Brexit would be the one which doesn't expose us to debating every last minute detail. Instead of opting for a the EEA agreement we are now seeking a bespoke solution, one which will see us bogged down for many years, ramping up the uncertainty and in all likelihood threatens a substantial portion of our EU trade. Not by any measure would you call this "clean".

The only reason we can think that one would be so cavalier as to ignore the many intricate areas of process is that they have no intention of addressing them. We know that David Davis is the "moderate" of the hard liners but the rest of them are salivating for a "no deal" Brexit and will tell any lie in pursuit of that goal.

As to whether they can be stopped, it is entirely our of our hands. It's really up for the parliamentary party to act and unless moderate voices get their skates on then we are up a certain creek. For now all we can do is watch and wait in the hope that sanity will prevail - and keep making the case for a more pragmatic tone. It ain't over til it's over.

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