The post-truth policy is alive and well in Brexit Britain


Brexit is a particular political element that has made the UK a truly unique place.

It is no secret that the country is bitterly divided, whether it is the EU or not. For an issue that was once binary (Leave; Remain), there are now countless desired results, none of which, it is said, command this paramount parliamentary majority.

The simplest result would be that May wins Tuesday. This would mean that the UK would officially leave the EU on March 29, before starting work on what would follow. But this "if" is so gigantic that he deserves his own moon. Even members of May's inner circle privately admit that they expect her to lose.

If this happens, it becomes a numbers game. A modest loss could give May the confidence to try again. A heavy defeat, however, could kill both his market and his leadership. And this is where the countless desired results come into play.

Possible scenarios include: an attempt at renegotiation (probably doomed) with the EU; the extension of the Article 50 process (the mechanism by which a Member State leaves the EU); a collapse of government and general elections; a change of prime minister; a second referendum on the EU; a scrapping of Brexit completely; and crush with a no-deal.

These other results, as well as their advocates, deserve to be examined under the microscope.

The various tribes have always hid behind principles to avoid subscribing to an option that is * actually * on the table – or to create a consensus behind their preference. Worse still, they decided to ignore the concrete problems that accompany their solutions.

Call it a lie, call it a misunderstanding, no matter: in the two and a half years since 51.9% voted for permission, few members of the political class British have distinguished themselves.

Let's start with the most prevalent breed: those who think that May (or someone else) should try to get a better deal.

We know that the withdrawal agreement – divorce and the transition to full independence – is blocked. A European diplomatic source told me recently that it was not a difficult negotiating position on the part of the EU. It took 28 years for 28 countries to reach this agreement. The idea of ​​doing something much better before the Brexit deadline is somewhat optimistic.

And what could be a "better deal" is also controversial. Some MEPs want to emulate a gentler Norwegian arrangement, giving the UK access to the single market; others want a less restrictive trade deal, similar to the one Canada enjoys with the EU. But the two options are considered unacceptable by the opposing side and, above all, neither of them answers the question of Northern Ireland.

Then, the extensions. This week, Keir Starmer, Labor Party spokesperson for Brexit, said that in his opinion, the extension of Article 50 is now "inevitable". Classic rival movement. Decoded: You did such a bad job that Brexit is now impossible.

The logic here is that by extension there is room for improvement. Well, we already know that, according to the EU, this is not an option at the moment. In addition, in order to extend Article 50, it would be necessary to cede to the other 27 Member States, each of which could veto it. Risky does not come near. And who, according to Starmer, will lead these negotiations?

Oh yes, the strategy of the government that collapse and general elections. Even if it is possible that May's government could fall, early elections could be organized and a new government – led by either the Labor Party or a new Conservative prime minister – could be formed, but it could that it is too little and too late.

The man best placed to impose a vote of confidence on the government is Starmer's boss, Jeremy Corbyn. Until now, he has refused to call such a vote, and he is now dangerously approaching the Brexit deadline.

And even in this electoral scenario, it is not clear that Theresa May or her replacement is asking for the extension of Article 50. Again: a risky affair for a nation stranded by roads and ideas.

A growing number of voices now support a second referendum. The problems with this are innumerable, but most of all, it could be the biggest political risk of all.

A wargame at the back of a beer rug suggests that since the Brexit has evolved, there should now be more than just the two options listed on the initial ballot.

For a result to be considered valid, it should almost certainly garner more votes than the 17.4 million who voted for the departure in 2016. A multiple-choice vote would not produce such a result. And if you thought that the 2016 campaign was ugly, try this at the waist: political elites are trying to steal your Brexit.

Finally, we have the two most extreme ends of this confusing business: the Brexit stop gang and the no-dealer.

Starting with the Brexiters stop, they were largely ignored because their argument seemed absurd in the face of reality. The United Kingdom has said to leave; Parliament voted to call Article 50. Fact.

Secondly, the European Court of Justice ruled that the United Kingdom could unilaterally revoke Article 50. The pawns were quarrels, but chose to conveniently ignore an essential warning: if the Kingdom The United Kingdom must do so, it must also commit itself to remain a Member State.

And for non-merchants, well, where to start? "Do not agree? Big deal!"

In their view, moving under the terms of the World Trade Organization with the largest trading partner of the United Kingdom would be fine; it can simply conclude trade agreements around the world that would largely offset its losses.

Many words have already been devoted to why this is both economically illiterate and downright dangerous (the UK Secretary of Health believes that a non-agreement would actually put the lives of sick people at risk for a multitude of reasons). So, while trade agreements could make up for a shortfall and planes might not fall from the sky, hell could freeze and pigs fly. Most people would not bet their savings.

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But – and this is crucial – a non-agreement is now the default option. The last question of selective honesty to be addressed is the well-known trope that there is simply no majority in Parliament for a non-agreement.

There is. It was registered on February 1, 2017, when the Parliament voted by 498 to 114 votes to trigger Article 50. Without agreement, it means no agreement.

Post-truth politics is alive and well in the UK.

But here's the problem: in reality, all that May has to do is put the United Kingdom in a wait-and-see situation, while everyone takes a deep breath and thinks about things. Those who want to give him a bloody nose and hide behind their principles choose to ignore the fact that once the UK is in transition, many of their favorite results are back on the table.

And, by the way, May herself is not exempt from it. Since the day she took office as Prime Minister, she peddles all kinds of nonsense (remember "no agreement is better than a bad deal"?).

Only this week, she claimed that Parliament would be allowed to vote on a crucial element of the entry into force of the withdrawal agreement: the technical support of Northern Ireland. But the backstop is part of an international treaty and not a bill that the UK Parliament has the power to amend.

The time has come for British elected officials to make a choice on the most important issue facing the country since the end of the Second World War.

Devoting May's agreement as best as they could, it's at least an option on the table that her government and she fought to propose to the oldest surviving parliament. If the majority of this house chooses – and it's a choice – to hide behind a principle and ignore the truth, then history can judge them cruelly. And, to tell the truth, it would not be less than what they deserve.