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Monday, February 05, 2018

Brexit disaster looms larger as May creates policy-free vacuum

Far from clarifying matters, the announcement from Downing Street yesterday that we are not seeking any form of involvement in a customs union with the European Union has plunged the UK into a policy vacuum in which Ministers are publicly contradicting themselves and nobody knows what end game we are aiming for.

As the Guardian reports, the statement came after the exposure of divisions between ministers over the UK’s future relationship with the EU. But in saying that it is not UK policy to be in a customs union, the official source went further than the Prime Minister who, on Friday, refused to rule out involvement in a customs union when questioned during her visit to China.

The intervention came after the home secretary, Amber Rudd, forecasted on Sunday that the UK would negotiate a customs arrangement with the EU, which was contradicted by Dominic Raab, the Brexit-supporting housing minister.

The result is total confusion with nobody, least of all the negotiators it seems, knowing what the UK Government's end game is, how they hope to replace the lost jobs and trade that will come from us leaving the EU customs union, and what vision, if any, they have for a post-EU UK.

The incompetence is breathtaking. Instead of standing up for the country's best interests, Theresa May is more concerned with shoring up her own position by pandering to the hard-line Brexiteers. If it were not serious this farce of a policy vacuum would be hysterically funny.
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