Lots of speculation on what kind of Brexit is in the offing. One Bel Tel writer reckons Arlene was softening on a Customs Union, but it was clear from her appearance on the Andrew Marr Show she’ll do nothing to upstage the UK PM’s negotiations with the EU.
But it’s worth considering this note from Janan Ganesh in the FT…
For a country that demands rupture with a “failed” liberalism, Britain keeps returning parliaments that guarantee — at most — cautious, tinkering amendments to the status quo. Even the referendum was followed, a year later, by a general election that has more or less nixed the hardest version of Brexit as a legislative goer.
As she tries to sell the idea of a “customs partnership” with the EU to more strident ministers, Theresa May’s most persuasive argument has nothing to do with the internal merits of her plan. Instead, the prime minister points her colleagues to the arithmetical realities of parliament. If denied a compromise, it might vote for full customs union membership.
Excitable Leavers will have this down as sabotage of the people’s will. But the people had a wonderful chance to express themselves a year ago. They could have signed off on a Tory win that made a formality of hard exit. Instead, they returned MPs to take the edge off their own decision to Leave.
Of course, negotiators on both sides will what to keep the pressure up to the end. For all the rhetoric (some of it highly irresponsible) emerging from both sides, good sense (and the strictures of the Lisbon Treaty) may yet make for a relatively soft landing.
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty