Just putting this here as a supplementary to the idea that Brexit won’t (and indeed cannot) end on March 29th, 2019:
Relationships change. The “transitional period” won’t end in 2020. It’ll carry on for as long as the UK and EU exist.
This is no mere pedantry. One of the key aspects of good negotiations is to see that agreements can be provisional, not final. Theresa May should be saying to all sides in the Tory party:
“This isn’t the final word. Let’s give this a go. And if it proves to be as bad as you claim, we can change it.”
(Maybe she is saying this in private.) I’ll grant, however, that this is more feasible for hardline Leavers than Remainers, as the EU might not want to renegotiate closer ties with so fractious and febrile a counterparty.
If there is anything in what I say, it poses the question: why do we hear so much about the politics of imposition and so little about the politics of discovery?
One answer is that political discourse is dominated by those who believe they know the answers, and so don’t need to discover them – which is of course a symptom of overconfidence.
We do not sufficient self-police and self-criticize our views. And perhaps we lack the mechanisms and institutions to incentivize us to do so.
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