Having campaigned in the dullest prose, it may not be a surprise to find Theresa May proceeding to govern without any obvious hint of wit. Brexit means Brexit really does mean that May plans to wrestle some sort of ‘sensible’ Brexit into existence.

For her, this is likely to be a terrible mistake. Brexit never did mean Brexit: the vote reflected myriad concerns which bore but superficial connection to the European Union.

There has so far been no hint of an emerging upside, capable of persuading Remainers. No positive case can be stated in prose, facts or figures. To make Brexit ‘real’ is simply to make the UK poorer economically and diplomatically.

For Leavers, Brexit’s allure lurks in the poetic. It is an expression of faith in our faded national narrative. It suggests a desire that Britain reassert itself. Bold action would be called for to sate that hunger.

And so when a ‘sensible’ Brexit is proposed, Brexiters jeer. Any actual Brexit deal is bound to be taken as a betrayal and the more cynical Brexit leaders have been planning for that from the start. A dream cannot be distilled into negotiated terms.

Since the Brexiters will fight tirelessly to kill any deal, it follows that supporters of the ‘Brexit dream’ are any, but one, actual Brexits’ deadliest enemies.

And you do not have to be too devious to suggest that it may be best, better even than a People’s Vote, for Brexiters to be the ones to murder Brexit.

This prize is now tantalisingly close. The question is what, if anything, needs to be done to nudge the Brexiters forward.

The answer would, unnervingly, appear to be nothing at all. 

Brexit then becomes a game of chicken: can a ‘no deal’ be allowed to take place? Brexiters appear increasingly attracted to it. They have moved from suggesting that it was necessary to leave the possibility on the table as part of our negotiating strategy, to positively craving it. For them, it is the only Brexit bold enough.

If Leavers can be convinced that a ‘no deal’ Brexit is inconceivable, Brexit dies. But any campaign along those lines will be slated as Project Fear 2. 

If Leavers can’t be convinced, our politicians have a choice either to prevent it anyway and face the full force of a “Betrayal” movement, or to let it happen so that all can see with their own eyes why a comprehensive deal (membership or something like it) is necessary.

Either way, Brexit’s days are numbered.


  1. ‘Let no deal happen’ would prove brexit fundamentalists wrong but it would come at a human cost. 5 million lives are at stake. 3.5 eu citizens who live in the uk and 1.5 million uk citizens established in the EU27 would lose their rights overnight and become illegal immigrants in the case of no deal. How can you possibly float the concept of no deal as a good idea to slay brexit in the end?! Giving consideration to reaching a goal at the expense of people’s existences is precisely what hardline brexiters propose. It’s wrong.

    1. “become illegal immigrants in the case of no deal”

      You need to brush up on your international law. They will retain the status quo. All the wrangling is about which court holds supremacy to uphold laws in the different jurisdictions. Say for EU citizens in UK post Brexit, would they be “protected” by EU courts despite being outside their jurisdiction or the local UK courts.

      You can see why the Remainiac fear mongering works… not everyone understands international law and we cannot trust the media to disseminate simple facts. Drama sells apparently.

    2. Agreed, that it would be irresponsible not to fight against ‘no deal’ all the way to the end. I’m not sure though whether our politicians will, collectively, be ready to save the day.
      What I am sure about though, is that we have to challenge the Brexiters’ drift towards actively craving ‘no deal’. They should fear that outcome more than any other because it obviously wouldn’t be sustainable. And yet at present it is a ‘safe space’ for them to continue their Brexit fantasy. What they ultimately have to be made to understand is that ‘no deal’ is what happens two days before the U.K. accepts whatever terms the EU are prepared to offer.

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