Of course, the issue is far from settled. Rebel MPs including Chuka Umunna and Anna Soubry have formed a cross-party group to oppose hard Brexit, and there are rumours that Eurosceptics Steven Woolfe, founder of Labour Leave John Mills and co-founder of Leave.EU, Arron Banks are teaming up in the hope of launching a new movement to stop Brexit being watered down. It seems that we may be returning to the world of Brexit campaigns. The trouble with this strategy in my eyes, is that a new Hard-Brexit campaign would have nothing new to say, and would be operating in an environment that is obviously turning against them. It wouldn’t be a reboot of the leave campaign rather than a re-hash – surely something nobody wishes to endure at this point.
The move by May will hopefully force Labour’s hand by exposing the contradictions of their Brexit strategy, which is currently permitted by their opposition status to not have to make any sense. If however, Labour take up the offer to collaborate, they will certainly need to firm things up. Labour are currently managing to wear two hats – they essentially back a hard Brexit, but also have their six rules under which Brexit must not go ahead, none of which would be satisfied by a hard Brexit. With May looking in essence to trade amendments for votes in parliament, Labour could find themselves in a fairly powerful position should they choose to take it, even if it is one in which their incompatible Brexit statements (or super-smart totally-on-purpose next-level politicking) have to be addressed. Labour’s position thus far has been given a pass, but if they are to take a step closer to the negotiating table this cannot go on.
Guy Verhofstadt has given us his two cents on the proposal for EU citizen’s rights, calling it a “damp squib” and “far short of what citizens are entitled to”. His comments form a joint letter to newspapers signed by leaders of political groups accounting for two-thirds of the European Parliament, in which they explain that they can veto any deal if they do not approve. Of course, vetoing the deal as far as we currently understand would leave us with “no deal” in which the rights of all citizens concerned would be blown to smithereens. This is like our MPs suggesting they might vote against the final deal if they don’t like it, which again would guarantee the worst outcome possible. Am I missing something here? Are both sides implicitly saying that if they don’t like the deal, we revert to the status quo? Unless there is a secret agreement that if Brexit doesn’t satisfy everyone then we won’t Brexit, these arguments make no sense whatsoever, right? Maybe I am losing it, I don’t know anymore.