Wednesday, August 31, 2016

The New Statesman predicts the top ten Brexiteer excuses ...

I don't necessarily agree with all the implicit arguments underlying Ian Leslie's piece in the New Statesman,

"The top ten reasons Brexit isn't working according to Brexiteers."

It is a prediction of the top main excuses that Ian suggests Leave supporters will use over the next few years if Brexit does not deliver what they want.

Of course, it would have been absolutely impossible for Leave or Remain to live up to all the predictions of their more enthusiastic supporters and neither was their any chance that either Brexit or remaining in the EU could possibly have been as disastrous as the more extreme "Project Fear" stories told by the other side.

(For the avoidance of doubt, to recognise that there were ridiculously overblown "Project Fear" scare stories on both sides is not to deny that there were also certain arguments on both sides denounced as "Project Fear" by their opponents which were perfectly reasonable and some of the Remain ones - the prediction that the pound would fall sharply if there was a Brexit vote, for instance - have already come true.)

I've linked to Ian Leslie's prediction of the top ten excuses that Leave supporters will use when Brexit does not deliver paradise on earth for two reasons:

1) It's very funny, and
2) It is virtually certain that some of these excuses will indeed be deployed in the next ten years.

As a challenge I will supply a free copy of "Better Off Out" to anyone who can supply me within the next five years of a full set of instances (names, dates, which excuse was deployed and at what meeting or in which publication) in which all ten were used.

The ten excuses are:

1. WHITEHALL SABOTAGE. "If we’re making no progress in trade negotiations, that’s because the civil service is doing its best to scupper a successful Brexit. That power-crazed madman Jeremy Heywood will stop at nothing to ensure he is bossed by Brussels, and the snooty bastards at the Treasury are working to subvert the national will out of spite. Even as our finest ministers strive manfully to cut Britannia free of its enslaving chains, all they hear from functionaries is “It’s a bit more complicated than that”. It’s only complicated because they want it to be."



5. MARK CARNEY. "Let’s get this straight: the Canadian governor of the Bank of England doesn’t want Britain to succeed, because then we’d be a direct competitor to his motherland." 
6. EU BUREAUCRATS. "You know those people we spent years attacking for being interfering, self-enriching, incompetent fools? Turns out they are now keen to make our lives as difficult as possible."

8. THOSE OTHER BREXITEERS (i) (This excuse applies where anti-immigration, little Englander Brexit supporters are complaining about the more liberal and less anti-immigrant free market Brexit supporters)

9. THOSE OTHER BREXITEERS (ii). (This excuse applies where more liberal and free market Brexit supporters are complaining that "Brexit got hijacked by the roast beef and two veg brigade" of anti-immigration little Englanders.)

Let's hope we hear that last one most - let's hope all the more that it is actually true. Because I don't want Britain to fail just so I can say "I told you so."


Jim said...

once again the main reason is lack of clarity, let me explain.

David Cameron's deal was never going to be seen as a successful negotiation quite simply because he failed before hand in stating what a successful negotiation was to be. I endlessly tried to point this out at the time, but it fell on deaf ears, so we ended with a pitiful negotiation that everyone snubbed.

Now for brexit, then Flexcit actually does lay out where to go and how to do it, so, this time its ignored, instead we are still stuck in this sort of "phoney war" where games are being played, and daft scenarios are discussed. (WTO springs to mind here).

Chris Whiteside said...

You have a point, Jim. Some people on both sides are still fighting the referendum while others are playing silly games.