A REALLY sensible government would have drawn up a plan for how to leave the European Union before calling a referendum on whether to do so. A sane one would have devised a strategy before triggering exit negotiations. Britain, by contrast, announced its departure plan on July 6th, when three-quarters of the time it has for talking to Brussels had already been used up. And even then the long-overdue reckoning with reality sent the government reeling.
Two cabinet ministers and two Conservative Party vice-chairmen have quit; the foreign secretary, Boris Johnson, said in his resignation letter that the Brexit “dream is dying”. Those abandoning ship are furious that Theresa May has dropped a hard separation from the EU for a softer deal, preserving many legal and economic ties. For now, the prime minister seems unsinkable (wooden objects tend to be). But her belated move towards a realistic Brexit has just begun. As the truth sinks in, more turmoil is in store. The task for Mrs May and the EU is to…Continue reading