Friday, 25 November 2016

The Guardian: Sooner or later, May and Hammond will have to put Britain before Brexit

The Guardian: Sooner or later, May and Hammond will have to put Britain before Brexit

by Polly Toynbee


"These choices may not percolate through to most voters until this time next year, when purses and wallets feel the pinch and the NHS crisis is daily news. At some point May and Hammond will need to stop pretending it can all be smoothed over with absurd reassurances about the “strength and resilience” of the British economy. What stops them is the dry-rotters behind them. May’s hint of a transition period to avoid a cliff edge was greeted with more “betrayal” boos. But a transition that stretches on and may take us into a time when Europe itself transitions is the best hope.

Keir Starmer lays out the clearest case for parliament, demanding May says what she wants. Parliament won’t vote against article 50: she would call a snap election and win like no party has ever won before. But it’s not giving away her hand to proclaim a determination to stay in the single market and the customs union. Only fear of her own party stops her setting out that strong negotiating position. Sooner or later she will have to face the “bastards” down, putting country before party. Sooner or later, Hammond will have to stop pretending the economy is OK: this worm will have to turn, no more taking the flak for an economic storm the Brexiters have brought down on his head."

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