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Stuck on the path over the cliff-edge

In a way I'm feeling quite cheerful about Brexit this morning. It's now undeniable, is it not, that carrying on with this utter embarrassment will only cause more and more damage. Surely after yesterday politicians of any party must now think the only logical thing to do would be to cancel it. As Rafael Behr writes in the Guardian ''There is no substantial problem facing Britain to which leaving the EU offers an effective remedy. Even on its own advertised terms, Brexit is a dud. There will still be immigration across porous borders. There will not be an immediate bonanza of free-trade agreements with other countries...'' As much as I try to keep well clear of conspiracy theories, behind the scenes surely the tories must now be desperately looking for a way out of this mess.

Only, of course, they can never admit it. They must carry on the pretence, simply because of that stupid fucking referendum two years ago: ''The people's will'' and all that bullshit. The will therefore blunder on with something they know full well will severely damage the country, simply because they are reluctant to nullify the referendum result. I must admit, I would be too in their shoes: democracy must be respected, or at least be shown to be respected. Suddenly announcing that what happened in 2016 doesn't count anymore would just enrage people who feel persecuted and belittled as it is.

In a way, stuck between a rock and a hard place, you have to feel sorry fo them. As loathsome as they are, the tories are educated, well-informed people; they know where this path leads and the damage Brexit will cause, but they have no choice but to follow it. While behr writes that Brexit cannot now simply be reversed and the clock magically set back to before June 2016, that must be exactly what the tories long to do. Yet the cat is out of the bag: people voted for Brexit in part through a (misguided) sense of catharsis; they wanted to strike back at what they saw - or were lead to see - as 'the system'. If brexit was reversed, that powerful, controlling, incomprehensible system would be seen to be reasserting it's power, and the tensions which lead people to vote Leave would amplify tenfold.

We really are up shit creek here, aren't we? As much as davis and Johnson will try to paint what was agreed with the EU yesterday as a settlement, we have had to concede almost everything. The Outists snapped on virtually every promise they made - there is now no point carrying on. The only sensible thing to do now would be to stop Brexit, and if common sense is allowed a voice there can be now little doubt we'll end up remaining. The problem is, this stupid affair has released tensions that mean that common sense cannot prevail. Reverse Brexit, and people will be up in arms; every shred of credibility the tories - and government as a whole, for that matter - ever had would be lost. People will feel even more ignored and sneered at by those they see as the cultural elites. The forces which lead people to vote leave will be compounded. Thus they have no choice but to keep up the pretence that they are campaigning to get the best possible deal for the UK, even though they know full well that they have no chance of doing anything other than ruining the country.

I now think the end of Brexit is inevitable and we'll end up remaining a member of the EU, in one form or another. I should be happy. My worry is, the fury that might now generate from those who voted to leave. It's far too late to turn the clock back and try to pretend this whole farce never happened, as much as the tories might wish they could. Oh, what a mess.


[Edited 20/03/2018 at 18:07:07 - added a bit]

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