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No plan, no direction, not a lot of hope of a positive outcome… December 1, 2016

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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I don’t agree with William Keegan calling for the Brexit referendum to be overturned, though I do think that a second referendum on the terms arrived at is reasonable. But he’s not far wrong in arguing that no one in the UK has a plan for Brexit. In fairness to him he may have changed his mind since holding that line. But, all that said, it really is astounding how unprepared those forces who called for a referendum, initiated it and proposed the idea of exit actually were in terms of the basic aspects of how a Brexit might be achieved.

And it’s interesting to hear Diane Abbott – who is a strong part of the Corbyn camp, and Keegan often comes across as old, for which read pre neoliberal Labour himself – articulating a line almost identical to his when he says:

Unfortunately, there is a timing problem. One suspects that when the true implications of Brexit become apparent in higher prices, squeezed incomes and an aggravation of austerity, large numbers of Leave voters will have second thoughts. The tragedy is that a lot of damage will have been done by then.

Abbott argues:

She also suggested that parts of the country dependent on the EU for business but in which people voted overwhelmingly for Brexit were “incrementally beginning to wonder whether they did the right thing”.

“I think there’s a little bit of Bregret, and because the Tories don’t have a plan, because their approach is so chaotic, I think we’ll see more Bregret as time goes on,” she said.

She also makes a very valid point:

Labour will not win a general election if it lurches to the right to become “Ukip-lite”, Diane Abbott has said, as she called on her party to hold its nerve over the issue of immigration.

I’ve mentioned before how loathsome it is to see some on the Labour right (and not just there) attempt to assuage what they perceive as sentiment in favour off jettisoning freedom of movement (though it is worth noting that there may not be much choice given that the UK is unlikely to want to sign up to other aspects of this – at least a UK where the Tories are leading the negotiations).

One other point of Keegan’s is well made:

But Robert Chote and his colleagues at the OBR [Office for Budget Responsibility] did not get where they are today without possessing a lot more sense and judgment that the Brexiters who have landed us in this mess. These are Brexiters who are so bereft of common sense that they argue departure from the EU will free this once-great nation to be able to trade with China, India, Australia and the rest of the world, as if we did not trade with them already.

Ah, they say, but freed from the constraints of the EU we shall be able to do even better. Tell that to Germany: an economy that, allegedly constrained by the EU, seems to fare a lot better in world markets than we do.

It is quite mad to read the sort of stuff emanating from Tory and UKIP Brexit proponents whose grasp on international trade appears shaky, to put it mildly.

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