Two ministers resigned this week over government proposals on the future relationship between Britain and the European Union, when they separate on 29 March. 75% of Members of Parliament wanted to remain in the European Union, but 90% voted to hold a referendum and are now reluctantly implementing its recommendation to leave. Following the resignations only 6 of the 25 MPs in the cabinet are believed to support that recommendation.
The latest white paper lacks detail, despite covering 104 pages. Littered with meaningless jargon, what exactly is a gender-responsive trade policy?, focuses on what the government wants to stay the same. A free trade area for goods, sharing of information between security services, reciprocal visa-free travel, and joint institutions. Preserving the status quo as far as possible.
When the Brexit negotiations began the European Union stated that Britain couldn’t pick and choose the best bits of membership and walk away from the rest. Two years later the British government has delivered a plan to do exactly that. They have nine months to persuade the European Union, the British Parliament, and their own people, to accept it. An extremely difficult task when they don’t believe themselves.