Thursday, 15 November 2018

15th November 2018 Cabinet agreement

The sun is glinting on buildings down the valley. Sir Keir Starmer has just been roasted from about 0735am by Nick on R4. Labour have condemned the May deal and Nick Robinson had decided to show Sir Keir how close the deal was to Labour's stated position. That well shows the complexities immediately in prospect. I was never a fan of 2016 and in the end did not vote. From about the period of June I have said May's tack was the only show on the road. That remains the case. Behind all the froth, last night Newsnight had experts who had seen the deal, explaining why it made some sense. The Referendum debate back in 2016 showed what a hopeless instrument it was for informed debate, the same sort of process is at work now. There will be immense heat over Northern Ireland for an aspect of the agreement which is not even intended to happen. Some Brexiteers will long and work for no deal. I have never supported no deal. How that can be a happy outcome I find unfathomable. My hunch is that if you were going to have a Brexit, Mrs May's result was the likely one. It preserves jobs, gives us back some control and money, and isolates us from having influence in Europe. That is a realistic assessment. Allowing all that, many might feel we were far better off staying where we are? What happens next? In some ways May got Cabinet backing, some form of words from a hugely divided Cabinet and party. But now it is Parliament. That really does have Maths to suggest it is much more challenging. If Labour do what we are told Corbyn will tell them to do, it is lost. However Corbyn has always supported May and Brexit in key votes. Assuming the deal is not supported by Parliament, all bets are off. But what I lament is that an issue that ought never to have been an issue has been hugely divisive to the United Kingdom for years now and it ain't going away. I feel she will not win in Parliament because individuals with their own agendas will not embrace the logic of May's deal. It is what you get if you vote for Brexit, a loony position. It makes the best of a bad job. But achieving a majority in Parliament from a minority party to make the best of a bad job would seem a tall order. We go forward into the unknown buoyed up largely for today by the prospect of some sunshine.