What If?


Downing Street’s retort at the start of the week to Boris Johnson’s article – which rightly pointed out that Theresa May’s Chequers plan means disaster for Britain – was clear: that Boris had no plan and that “there’s no new ideas in this (his) article to respond to”. Amber Rudd then came windmilling into the row with “once again, it’s a case of leap before you look – there’s absolutely no proposal here.”

But what if there was a proposal that Johnson and the Brexiteers had in place? One replete with detail. One that has been mostly copied and pasted from past agreements the EU had signed up to? One that respected the EU single market’s sacrosanct red lines and struck a great deal for Britain?

Just because Johnson and his growing band of allies has not gone public with the plan or the detail just yet doesn’t mean that there’s no plan. Why would they when, bizarrely, the Prime Minister is still touting the rotten corpse of Chequers?

We live in hope that Theresa May delivers a satisfactory Brexit. But she would be wise to drop the air of haughtiness now and insistence that Boris (thus the Brexiteers now aligned behind him) should not be taken seriously. This band of patriots shocked the world at the referendum and they can shock the world once again by turning Downing Street’s famous black door into a revolving one. They were even called political lemmings before by the likes of Rudd.

A detailed plan that can get through parliament instead of a no deal. One that Barnier will accept. One that, in effect, even Walloons have agreed to before, yet much more than a Canadian agreement – one for which we only need to agree the parameters of the future relationship for the Withdrawal Agreement (we have an 18 month transition period to iron out negotiable details.)

What if?