A Brexit update

The whole Brexit thing is such a weird exercise in magical thinking that there is simply too much to keep track of as it falls apart.  Rather than post individual articles, here’s a round-up.

From the FT, Brexit and the challenges of reality:

No one in government has a clue. Pro-Brexit supporters demand a sudden Brexit without any regard to these problems: see this Bernard Jenkin piece in the FT, and the comments beneath are perhaps the most brutal you will see on this website.

The fatuous Jenkins article is referred to by John Naughton who highlights one reader’s comment in particular:

I have many, many questions for Mr Jenkin, but I will focus only on one. You suggest that repatriating the 17,000+ laws and regulations provided under the 1972 European Communities Act will be a straightforward exercise, a stroke of the Parliamentary pen. Bravo. But as I’m sure the learned gentlemen is aware, law consists not just of written law, but also of the case law developed by the courts over many years to clarify what has been written. This is a crucial element of the legal system, and these judgements are relied upon by all legal advisors and practitioners.

So might I simply enquire as to what case law will apply when the court that made these judgements – the European Court of Justice – is no longer a part of our legal system? Anyone operating under these laws or regulations will need to know. Will English courts continue to rely on decisions made by the ECJ? Until what point? And how will anyone trying to operate a business be sure whether they are protected by those decisions or not? Which court will hear any challenges to those decisions, and under what authority?

Sorry, that’s turned into five questions. Funny how these simple questions have a tendency to do that.

Referencing David Brent, Flip Chart Fairy Tales summarises the complexity of the task:

With no clear objectives, an incalculable number of dependencies, unfathomable sequencing, timescales impossible even to guesstimate and depleted resources, any project planner might be forgiven for throwing in the towel. Some sort of plan will emerge eventually but, at the moment, just making one for the project’s first phase, defining what the hell it is we want, is going to be difficult enough.

So spare me the pseudo psychology and the David Brent-isms. Trite phrases like ‘move on’, ‘be positive’, ‘just do it’ and ‘we are where we are’ reflect a failure to understand the magnitude of the Brexit task. There’s no ‘just’ about any of this. It is a colossal and eye-wateringly complex task. It will take years and will dominate UK politics for the rest of the decade.

On a lighter note, InFacts rounds up Leave’s ludicrous promises in What Brexit do we want? The one Leavers promised.  Notable how often Johnson’s name appears.