Peter North, 27/01/2018  

Being that January has been the slowest month for Brexit news since the summer I was hoping that today's speech from David Davis would at least give us something more substantial to go on. Not so. The official line has not changed. Davis is doubling down on a two year "Implementation Period". 

The news here is that the government is maintaining the deception that there will be something to implement by the end of the Article 50 having resolved the substantive trade issues. Nothing has changed from three months ago. All we learn is that there is a tacit acceptance than no new trade deals will come into force for the duration - which was never going to happen anyway. 

If we had a functioning media the "big lie" of "implementation" would be the main story but instead they have chosen, predictably, to indulge in the Hammond/Mogg stand-off. The biff-bam story prevails and the substance slides down the back of the sofa.  

Despite clarifications from Cecilia Malmstrom and Michel Barnier, many times over many months, this reality has not landed as a political artefact in the Overton Window so the deception sits there like a bad pierogi on the plate with nobody seeing fit to mention it.  

Besides this there is that somewhat inconvenient truth that nobody serious thinks any sort of deal can be concluded in the two years of transition, and as a consequence of snubbing the EEA we are looking at "vassal state" status for a minimum of four years. One might have expected this to be the source of outrage for the Brexit inclined press but the tribal rivalries in anticipation of an ever looming leadership challenge keep the media conveniently distracted. It's almost as if no-one even cares. 

As to the form of the future relationship and the substance of the Hammond/Mogg spat, it would seem we are to be subjected to the same routine bickering for the duration. Mrs May is expected to make a statement next week but there is no reason to expect deviation from the party line as per Lancaster House. Moreover, anything she might say will not be the last word on the matter. This is something that can (and will) be kicked into the long grass until 2019 and beyond.

The perpetual cries for clarification and honesty from the government are falling on deaf ears. The cartoon physics strategy of not looking down remains unchanged. In other words, today's news is that there is no news. 

comments powered by Disqus

Log in

Sign THA

The Many, Not the Few