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From the editor: Brexit shambles in serious need of a rethink

’Brexit means Brexit’ was a favourite slogan of the pro-Leave camp during the 2016 referendum.


Ben   Briggs

Ben   Briggs

The only problem now is that no one seems to know what Brexit stands for, although everyone can see it is fuelling a serious constitutional crisis.

 

In this most surreal of summers, the past week’s political meltdown in Westminster saw the departure of Brexit chief David Davis and Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, all of which turned the Machiavellian dial up another notch as Ministers sought to bring down the Prime Minister.

 

Self centred, ego-driven manoeuvrings during a World Cup summer have usually been the preserve of the England football team, but with them surprisingly level headed it appears those in the Cabinet have picked up the baton with glorious abandon.

 

While, of course, we shake our heads in dismay, the ramifications now and in the longer term for agriculture could be very real. Many cautiously welcomed the negotiating position to come out of Chequers last week, only to see it spark a wave of resignations and infighting.


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At a time when we need unity within Government, they are tearing themselves apart as they put careers above country, and all the while the clock ticks towards Brexit and the farming industry has no clearer idea of the trade arrangements it will have once we exit the EU.

 

But what did people really think Brexit would mean? With a bully in the US White House in the form of Donald Trump, an increasingly antagonistic Russia, and a power hungry China, global political dynamics have shifted beyond all recognition in the past two years, highlighting starkly that yearning for the certainties of the past is useless.

 

And while the Chequers agreement may have struck a path towards remaining in the single market, which many unions and farm leaders have called for, it would also tie the UK in to Brussels red tape and regulation for the foreseeable future, and that was exactly why many voted ’out’ in order to get away from.

 

Maybe it is time to throw the Brexit question back to the people.

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