Two thoughts about Brexit

I know that I should be blogging more regularly about the horror story that is Brexit, but: a) it’s hard to say anything that hasn’t already been said and b) as soon as you think you’ve caught up with developments, something else happens.

As I follow the twists and turns of the debate and I reflect on all that is happening, I am reminded of two of my favourite quotes.

The first is something I learned when I spent four years working in two governments departments as a Political Adviser in the early 1970s: “It isn’t over till it’s over … and then it isn’t over”.

I keep thinking that May’s deal is dead and then there is talk of another vote. I keep thinking that a no-deal Brexit has been ruled out and then it’s back on the agenda. I keep thinking that we’re going to leave the EU and then we ask for another extension.

The truth is that, whatever happens, this Brexit issue is going to run and run for weeks, months, years, decades.

The second quote that I recall is one that is portably apocryphal but I like it. When the then Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai was asked his views on the French Revolution, he was reported to have responded that “It’s too soon to say”.

As we seek to make judgements on whether decisions around Brexit were right or wrong and when some kind of leave or remain option is actually implemented, for many years – indeed decades – afterwards, we will be assessing whether a particular setback or success was or was not the result of Brexit.

There will never be a final and definitive judgement.

So, even if you’re fed up with the whole Brexit debate, you’re going to have to stick with it – for life. Sorry …


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