Theresa May knew it. Gina Miller knew it. Michel Barnier knew it. There never was such a thing as a soft Brexit. We are now inheriting the ‘benefits’ of a hard Brexit though Brexit’s delinquent and dysfunctional offspring … the cost of living crisis, a return to climate vandalism, the sale of the century (NHS), skill shortages, recession and depression, pay freezes, Brexit red tape, travel, residence and work restrictions, the fragmentation of Brexit Britain into 4 + nations, demonisation of ‘forins’ and a retreat on our science and technology base, to name but a few of the effects. And to quote The Carpenters, “We’ve only just begun”. Biz Catalyst 360 and UK in a Changing Europe (UKICE) offer glimpses of what’s to come in the socio-economic, political, legal, technological and environmental suicide formerly known as Brexit. Read on ….
The illusion of a soft Brexit deal was akin to a stepping stone across a pond. Without the stepping stone of a soft Brexit, it is likely that we would have turned back from the cliff edge of a hard Brexit as the chasm was too dangerous. Theresa May knew this when she threatened the ERG with the choice of a hard Brexit or no Brexit at all. She did this several times during negotiations. May was thwarted by leading Remain voices such as Femi Oluwole who began to insist on the ‘safe Brexit’ which was not safe at all. The European Movement and Best for Britain joined in, pleading for the stepping stone. I understand the desire to manage expectations, but the time to drop the Remain project was 31st December 2020 and not 18 months later. It gave remainers the excuse they needed to give up. We know the rest.
I believe that May was playing a dangerous game with the ERG to break their grip on the Conservative party and Brexit. She may have succeeded if the Remoaners had not turned against her. I pleaded with people to support May but visceral love / hate binary responses took over. I warned that we would get Johnson if we ousted May. No one listened. We did. Quite a few blamed me for supporting Theresa May. Michel Barnier knew. Oh well.