05 December 2018, The Tablet

Brexit: how did British politics get this low?


In politics, as in life, not looking before you leap is bad advice. Parliament may wish it could take it in the task it has currently embarked upon: to review, and eventually accept or reject, the Brexit withdrawal agreement. But the future is necessarily obscure whichever course it chooses.

Yet the stakes could not be higher. The United Kingdom may or may not decide to terminate a 45-year-old relationship with its nearest and closest neighbours and replace it with a new and looser one; may or may not decide to cast itself off into the deep seeking – or pleading for – new friends and partners to replace those recently lost; or may choose a path of even greater uncertainty than that now existing. In short, those choices are to accept the deal negotiated with the European Union by Theresa May’s government; to leave the EU with no subsequent arrangement in place; or to refer the whole matter back to the electorate by means of a further referendum.

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