Reaction to the resignation of Sir Ivan Rogers and others betrays a failure to understand Theresa may’s Brexit strategy – if one can be forgiven for glorifying her efforts with such a term. Alternatively, it suggests an unwillingness to acknowledge awareness of her true intent. Which is, perhaps understandable. The very nature of British politics precludes explicit accusations of deviousness and dishonesty. Except, of course, when the subject of those accusations is associated with the Scottish Government and the SNP.
The shock and rage at the loss to the UK Government of so much expertise at the very time when it is presumed to be most needed assumes that Theresa May is going into negotiations with the EU intending and/or expecting some kind of favourable deal. Not so. For all the public bluster, May realised some time ago that the UK was, to use a term that probably isn’t in Sir Ivan’s workaday vocabulary, screwed.
The UK was screwed by David Cameron’s hubris; screwed by the Leave campaign; screwed by large sections of the media; and screwed by voters in England. And it is about to be further screwed by the EU. Everybody apart from the Mad Brexiteers openly acknowledges this. The tone of denial from the Faragist Faction grows daily more shrill and desperate. Not all the the deserts and all the seashores of all the world offer sufficient sand to meet the demand from Europhobe ostriches frantically trying to bury their heads deeply enough to shut out the disastrous consequences of their folly. Why suppose that Theresa May and her clique might have somehow failed to realise precisely how screwed the UK is?
Sir Ivan Rogers and the others have been ‘let go’ because they are not suited to Mays true purpose. A purpose which has nothing whatever to do with negotiating some ‘red, white and blue’ Brexit deal, but with ensuring that whatever settlement is imposed by the EU can be portrayed as a ‘victory’ for Britain.
The UK’s departure from the EU – including the single market because that’s what Brexit actually means – long since ceased to be an exercise in diplomatic negotiation such as would undoubtedly have benefited from the expertise of Sir Ivan Rogers et al. If it ever was seen that way by May and those with whom she has surrounded herself, it was only briefly. It is now solely an exercise in political presentation. It is about a pretence of control. It is entirely a matter of persuading enough of the public that, whatever the outcome ends up being, it is the outcome that May was aiming for. And that, to whatever extent it all too obviously isn’t what was wanted, the blame for this lies entirely with Johnny Foreigner – and, of course, Nicola Sturgeon.
Sir Ivan Rogers very evidently was not useful to this purpose. Rather, the contrary. By simply doing his job, he threatened to make the deception massively more difficult – perhaps impossible. He had to go.Views: 3066
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