Tag Archives: Nick Cohen

The reality of Brexit

Today I am reproducing two comments which appeared in the Guardian and Financial Times. They are both so good, I thought Honeyball Buzz readers should have the opportunity to read them.

In the Financial Times, Philip Stephens says: “Britain is having a nervous breakdown and only the British cannot see it. These are truly extraordinary times. Britain is upending the economic and foreign policies that have set its national course for half a century. Nothing in modern peacetime matches the upheaval.

“The impact on the nation’s prosperity, security and role in international affairs will be felt for a generation and beyond. And yet the prime minister dare not set out her preferred course for a post-Brexit settlement lest she be toppled by her own Tory MPs. Brexit is an act of protectionism promulgated by English nationalists who inexplicably style themselves free-marketeers: every study produced in Whitehall suggests departure from the single market will leave Britain poorer and less able to promote its interests overseas. With each step back from the melee, the picture becomes all the more incredible.

“Most MPs in the House of Commons consider Brexit an act of folly. They will vote against their judgment because the referendum, with its narrow majority for leave, has been invested with an absurd, almost mystical status. Let no one dare question “the will of the people.” Link to full article here.

Meanwhile in the Observer, Nick Cohen argues the hard right Tory Brexiteers flaming the civil service will blame anybody but themselves for Brexit’s failure: ““We can have our cake and eat it” is no longer the slogan of that asinine opportunist Boris Johnson, but of the post-Brexit establishment. Both Conservatives and Labour pretend there is no hard choice between taking back control and economic hardship.

“May says we can have it all because that’s “what the British people voted for” … In Russia, Hungary, Poland, the US and Venezuela, we have seen elected autocrats sweeping aside, or attempting to sweep aside, constraints on their power. They have the people’s mandate.

“Anyone who stands in their way is therefore an enemy of democracy itself. Just because it hasn’t happened here does not mean the British can console themselves with the happy thought that it can’t happen here – the more so when it already is.” Link to Nick’s full article can be found here.

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