“The SNP has dug itself into a fundamentalist hole and will need a dramatic pragmatic turn to hope to take advantage of the changing political context. Its best hope under its current fundamentalist leadership remains that the Tories win the next general election, opinion remains polarised and might finally shift decisively in favour of independence.”
The Labour leadership should not delay in setting out a full and convincing narrative for the future relationship with the EU …This new narrative should set out clearly the reforms required both in the EU and within the UK itself.
‘The status quo that brought us to Brexit will not get us out of it. While that time has gone, it is clear a new way of talking about the future was sorely needed anyway, even more so two years on. Meanwhile we are presented with an opportunity: in the breaking down of established common sense comes an opportunity to recreate and redefine.’
‘A multi-choice ballot between May’s deal (which could amount to no-deal), or in/out of the customs union and in/out of the single market, would allow voters to make a real and somewhat nuanced choice.’
‘There is a saying among global trade negotiators that the world is divided between cannibals and lunch. The UK may be finding painfully that leaving the protection of the cannibals has condemned it to become lunch. It was certainly Stephen (Haseler)’s view that the English superstate was just as incapable of responding to new challenges internationally as it was domestically.’
‘The territorial politics of Brexit is a bewildering mix of ignorance, apparent disdain, confrontation, cooperation and collaboration. Rarely have the so-called devolution ‘settlements’ appeared more unsettled.’
‘In any three-way referendum on Brexit, there is (therefore) a real risk that supporters of losing options would blame the voting system. It is not a promising route for making a decision in a way the country as a whole can accept as fair.\
‘… were legislation introduced the day parliament returned from the party conference recess, on 9 October, the earliest Thursday on which a referendum could be held would be 28 March – the very day before exit day. Of course, the introduction of legislation so soon is very unlikely, and there is plenty of scope for delays along the way…’
The current domestic debate in the UK thus represents the beginning of the Brexit process, not the end, and it would benefit from a greater understanding of what drives the EU in this process.
‘Doubtless anti-Brexit campaigners are hoping that this finding will help persuade Labour MPs representing constituencies where a majority voted Leave in 2016 that a change in the party’s stance would not be so harmful electorally as some of them at least seem to fear. Those fears might always have been exaggerated…’