Project Fear or Project Fantasy?
Our national politicians are really struggling to agree on what sort of Brexit we should have.
The referendum was a pretty close result and it certainly didn’t provide a mandate for a “Hard Brexit”, completely cutting ourselves off from the EU without any trade deal in place of the arrangements we all take for granted now.
The right wingers in the Tory party believe that we can thrive outside the already established arrangements with biggest single market in the world.
They are content for us not to even have any sort of future customs arrangement with the EU.
It isn’t at all clear how they would solve the question of the Irish border issue, with the Republic of Ireland staying in the EU but Northern Ireland coming out.
The majority of politicians in all political parties think that our economy will suffer outside the EU and most businesses and their representative bodies agree.
So, it is hard to see how Mrs May can keep the hard Brexiteers within her party happy, as well as the pro-EU politicians.
I suspect that most people are completely bored with the endless wrangling, either wanting our government to pull out completely, or to cut a deal that mitigates the likely damage.
Some people will always think that those who argued for staying a member of the EU are exaggerating the negative consequences of leaving.
It’s easy to dismiss them as “Remoaners”, engaged in Project Fear.
On the other hand, the champions of a hard Brexit seem to have totally unrealistic ideas about our ability to immediately replace trade lost with the EU, hence they could be said to be engaged in Project Fantasy.
Whichever way the government of Mrs May settles on this issue, there are going to be some people deeply unhappy and feel they have been betrayed.
The government is in a weak state and could fall, especially if they cannot pass legislation through the House of Commons.