As soon as the referendum was won for #leave you could feel the fear hitting their leading campaigners. They didn’t expect to win (As Farage admitted defeat and then changed his mind again within a couple of hours) and as has become abundantly clear they have no plan or any idea about what to do about the mess they have caused. For anybody who studies body language this car crash of a press conference Sid it all on Friday morning.
It was ok for Boris and Gove to take a few hours off – but it seems Boris disappeared to write his £200k a year Telegraph column and plan his leadership bid. As you can see the hubris of the campaign was replaced with a plea to join the EU as the answer to the mess he created. As I wrote yesterday the various so-called promises from Leave unraveled because they didn’t think they would have to implement them. £350m for the NHS – a ‘mistake’. Stopping migrating from Europe – ‘we never said that or gave a number’
The battle now moves to the Tory leadership battle for who becomes our Prime Minister. The future of our country is now in the hands of Tory MPs about which two candidates it puts to the 130,000 Tory Party activists. From listening to Labour Party activists and £3 members last year we know how well that goes!
But what we will need to see from the candidates are the details of what they now stand for. Sound bits are no longer good enough. They have months to declare the details of their plans for BREXIT. Will we want to join the Single Market and if so what will we accept on freedom of movement and our contribution? This would be closer to the Norway model (paying In to get the access to the Single tariff free Market and accept a liberal immigration regime). The alternative might be nearer a Canadian model with a bespoke deal for the Single Market with its own immigration rules. This is where the battle lines are now drawn. This is why referendum are so poor at deciding such complex issues. They are not binary in or out but a complex set of interactions. The country is already rudderless and we will remain so for the next 3 months as the Tory party tears itself apart over these questions.
But to make us feel worse about the chaos that could ensue – Boris and Gove disappeared today just when we need them to be starting to set your what they would do. For the sake of the country we can’t leave our future to these two chancers. Serious times ahead call for serious people not the pantomime clown Boris Johnson.