Vassalage is just the half of it

Tom Williams of Airbus this morning warned that not only would a ‘no deal’ Brexit drive his company out of the UK but so would continuing uncertainty about the long term trading relationship with the EU. It was a reminder, if one were needed, that were we to enter indefinite vassalage in the form of a transition arrangement that had no end in view, investment in the UK would rapidly decline. Hence,  we could look forward in short order not just to being a helpless and powerless political appendage of the EU but also to a declining economy with every prospect of becoming the new ‘Sick man of Europe” long before we found our way back to some kind of permanent accommodation with the EU.  As this reality takes shape around us, the antics of the Brexitiers look ever more like a schoolboy or undergrad’ prank gone wrong. Chatter about ‘sovereignty’ and ‘Britain’s place in the world’ may be fun in the dorm’ or the Oxford Union but it is not the stuff of real and practical politics where such flights of post-imperial fancy can only ever end in disaster.

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