Nick Cohen suggests that Gove and BoJo are just pundits who’ve been found out: “Never has a revolution in Britain’s position in the world been advocated with such carelessness. The Leave campaign has no plan. And that is not just because there was a shamefully under-explored division between the bulk of Brexit voters who wanted the strong welfare state and solid communities of their youth and the leaders of the campaign who wanted Britain to become an offshore tax haven. Vote Leave did not know how to resolve difficulties with Scotland, Ireland, the refugee camp at Calais, and a thousand other problems, and did not want to know either.”
Four new developments are converging as the Leave comedown kicks-in.
Funnily enough it turns out that the rest of Europe aren’t hanging about whilst the befuddled Brits shuffle about wondering what to do for a few years. After decades of putting up with a reluctant and petulant partner, opting out of everything they could, the rest of Europe’s endless patience has run out.
European leaders are saying ‘Go Now’ and the Leave campaign’s wishlist is being exposed as a sort of letter home from boarding school. The idea that you could destabilise the whole of Europe over years as your internal squabble spilled into an exercise in mass disinformation is now being out to bed.
Second it seems the idea that Scotland could and should negotiate to Remain – an idea that last week was being derided – seems to be gaining credibility. A string of senior officials have recognised the idea – as the bewilderment with England turns to openness. As Severin Carrell and Jennifer Rankin report: “The head of the European commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, was scheduled to speak to the Scottish first minister on Friday. When the question of Scottish independence was on the table two years ago, EU officials insisted that were it an independent country, Scotland would have to apply to join the EU. Under article 49 of the Lisbon treaty, any democratic European country can apply to join the EU.”
Some experts think it is possible that the rest of the EU may agree to put Scotland on a separate fast-track process, rather than bracketing it with EU aspirants such as Albania and Turkey.
Jean-Christophe Lagarde writes to Francois Hollande arguing that the “EU must make clear that it remains open to Scots & N. Irish” (“Europe : la lettre remise à François Hollande”.)
Third, the unshackled racism emboldened by English nationalism is erupting all over the place. No surprise there but the toxicity of the referendum isn’t going anywhere soon and will likely spill into political life for decades to come. Gove and Johnson may be distancing themselves from the worst of the UKIP language but they were the beneficiaries of this narrative. This may be marginal, we’ll see, but t does nothing to add to the picture of contemporary Britain as a place you might want to be associated with.
Fourth, waves of No voters are turning to Yes in shock and dismay at the betrayal of the Brexit fiasco and how it exposes the One Big Happy Family lie.. A poll ran by the Sunday Post gave Yes a 59% lead to 35% No. High profile No campaigners were coming out across social media with declarations of changed-hearts. Everyone from the (unsurprising) Henry McLeish to the (very surprising) JK Rowling.
Rumour has it even Patronising BT Lady has ditched the Full English for Cheerios. Today even the Daily Record backed Sturgeon’s bid to negotiate with Europe for Remain.
But as David Greig tweeted, and the First Minister re-tweeted: “Gentle note to fellow ex Yessers. No ‘I told you so’s’, no smugness & no presumptions. Indyref 1 is over. New moment, new allies, new start.“
This isn’t a re-run it’s a new opportunity.
If you’re a reader of the Daily Mail or the Express, you might find the summer’s an exercise in realising not to believe everything you read in the papers.