From the outset, this blog has argued that the Brexit project will hit the buffers simply because Brexit is not and never was a feasible option. The question is, how will that hard reality now play itself out. Will we continue to mislead our fellow citizens, either postponing Brexit indefinitely through suspending the Article 50 process or by entering the so-called transition or implementation arrangement or, indeed, by offering a second referendum based on the lie that Brexit is an option? Or will we come clean? Will we explain that, after two years of hapless analysis and negotiations, it has become clear that the clean Brexit proposed and voted for is not on offer and that we need to find other ways to manage our relationships within the EU?
The political and economic advantages of “coming clean” are clear. It would inject a much needed dose of sober reality into a world grown drunk and morose on the intoxicating sacrament of Brexit. It offers an opportunity for the members of the political class to show themselves as honest and pragmatic realists rather than the prating prophets of doom on the one hand and salvation on the other. In addition…and here lies the hope…it offers a rare opportunity for a new generation in the Tory party to seize control and to marginalise the ageing populists and wreckers in both their own party and the Opposition and put politics back on the rails as the practice of the possible. But to do this, the Party needs a new leader. But who?
At the beginning of these blogs, I argued that only a Brexitier could “come clean” and call the whole thing off because only a Brexitier could command the credibility needed to convince the public that doing so was not an Establishment plot. I believe that is still the case. At the time, possible candidates included old timers like David Davis. However, since then new men and women have emerged in the front ranks of the Brexit battalions and, not least, Dominic Raab. His Brexit credentials are beyond question. He rose to the challenge in accepting the job of Brexit minister. However, unlike the second rate time-serving Brexitiers in the Cabinet such as Gove, Leadsom, Fox and Grayling, he did not cling on to his ministerial perks when it became plain that he would be unable to deliver the Brexit that people had been promised. So, come on Mr Raab…do the honourable thing again and you might save the country and your own and indeed the Opposition party…and, oh yes, you might get the keys to No 10.