Jo Johnson: The Inside Story of Brexit and Where It All Went Wrong: "My oldest brother Boris, one of the leaders of the Leave campaign, recently observed that the proposed arrangements were 'substantially worse than staying in the EU'. Iain Dale, a leading Conservative commentator, wrote in despair this week that the deal was 'so damaging to our country both in the short and long term that if I had to make a choice between voting for this deal or remaining in the European Union, I’d do the latter'. They are both influential thinkers in the party and they are both unquestionably right...

...It is striking that the argument that the government will present for the withdrawal agreement “deal” is not that it is better for Britain than our current membership. My own work at the Department for Transport has given me a sense of the chaos that could follow a “no deal” Brexit.... Nonetheless, I believe it would be a grave mistake for the government to ram through this deal by once again unleashing Project Fear.... A “no deal” outcome may well be better than the never-ending purgatory the prime minister is offering the country. But my message to all Leave campaigners is that inflicting such serious economic and political harm on the country will leave an ineradicable impression of incompetence in the minds of the public. It cannot be what you wanted, nor did the referendum provide any mandate for it. For May to maintain that we’re delivering Brexit when we’re actually giving away control will gravely erode trust in politics and imperil the future of the Conservative party....

There is a way out, of course... not... re-running that referendum, but about asking people whether they want to go ahead with Brexit on these terms now that we know the exact nature of the deal that is actually available to us, whether we should leave without any deal at all or whether people on balance would rather stick with the deal we already have inside the EU.... Is it more democratic to rely on a three-year-old vote based on what an idealised Brexit might offer, or to have a vote based on what we know it does actually entail?

Brexit... has failed.... It’s not clear whether the campaign promises could ever have been delivered in reality, even by the most fervent of believers. The result is that many MPs instead feel trapped and disheartened, compelled to support a Brexit deal that is against the national interest.... We need to confront our real problems, not indulge in false solutions that make them worse. I hope, for our country’s sake, that others come to the same conclusion I’ve reached before it is too late.


#shouldread #orangehairedbaboons

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