As I argue in my New European column this week, while Brexit has turned into a political version of the Napoleonic Wars, protracted and diffuse, with months, even years, of indecisive engagements, we may be approaching Waterloo. It is now very like that May will lose the ‘second meaningful vote’, and that Parliament will then reject no-deal. What matters then is what length of Article 50 extension is proposed. My solution is a maximum extension period of 21 months, with it possible for the UK to leave at any point short of its termination. If the UK can agree on a Brexit outcome by the end of June, then fine, but if not and the stalemate continues there will be no need for a further crisis negotiation this year.
This ‘up to 21-month extension’ would be Waterloo – the decisive victory in the Brexit wars after years of inconclusive battles – since it makes it likely that the ultimate resolution would be for the UK to stay in the EU.
This week Chris Grayling’s latest disaster emerged – a £33 million pay-out to Eurotunnel after he failed to properly contract out no Deal planning. As I call for in this video, the Government will not be credible until he goes.
I also appeared in the ITV documentary Exposure: Brexit Online Uncovered this week, speaking on what Brexit has done to our national discourse. You can watch it here, my section starts from 39:14.
Yesterday I debated with Nigel Farage and Conservative MP Rory Stewart at the Oxford Union on whether Parliament should pass May’s deal. My key argument was that Brexit is a split in the right-wing privileged elite, manipulating a social crisis which needs solutions not cynicism. My side of course won handily.
Tonight I will be speaking in Eddisbury, tomorrow in Swansea, on Tuesday 12th in Basingstoke, Dorchester on Friday 15th, West Dorset on Saturday 16th, and Wealden on Sunday 17th. Follow my Twitter and Facebook for forthcoming details of all these events, and the more the merrier so do come along if I am speaking in your area!