Still no clarity over Brexit

Posted By: June 23, 2017


Today marks the first anniversary of the most seismic, disruptive and far-reaching decision in recent British political history when – against all the odds – a majority voted to leave the European Union.

It was not a UK-wide endorsement, of course.

Scotland and Northern Ireland voted to remain in the EU but the concerns of people in both regions appear to hold little sway with the Conservative Party which has yet to fully explain what impact Brexit will have on the wider public.

It was an ill-advised and ill-judged decision by David Cameron to call the referendum in the first place and to allow a simple majority on a major constitutional issue.

His mistake ended his career as the prime minister and more importantly placed the UK into a position of complete uncertainty and facing unknown consequences in terms of the economy, jobs, trade, migration and a host of other matters.

One year on and the position is still unclear.

Theresa May has set her course on a hard Brexit, which would see Britain leave the single market and the customs union while insisting her government does not want to see a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic.

However, Michel Barnier, Europe’s chief negotiator, has warned that customs controls are part of the EU’s border management in order to protect the single market.

Negotiations on Brexit have only now got under way but Mrs. May goes into the talks with greatly reduced authority after she – like her predecessor – called an unnecessary poll and got an unexpected result.

While the British government is intent on leaving the EU, it seems the EU is leaving open the possibility that Britain could stay in.

Leo Varadkar yesterday was quiet.