I have rarely felt as pessimistic about Brexit happening as I do this morning.
David Davis talking about staying in the single market. Liberal elites, from Canterbury to Kensington, discovering their electoral as well as their cultural power. The future members of that elite, our students, voting with it as a bloc. A dead duck in No.10 whose only attribute was as an administrator. No UKIP to speak of. Whilst Corbyn now knows he can win, the smallest part of his grand alliance, and the one with least social capital, are the returning Brexit voters. Emily Thornberry or Sir Keir Starmer would happily throw those Labour voters, in Thurrock or Crewe, under their white vans in an instant.
The potential fiddle is this. Contrary to popular opinion, the split between Vote Leave and Leave.EU was not over personalities, what weight to give immigration as a campaign issue, or what role to give Nigel Farage. The split was over the failure of the Vote Leave campaign’s leadership to give clear assurances they would not accept a second referendum on membership of the single market. UKIP MEPs pressed Vote Leave Campaign Director Dominic Cummings on this, and he would not give any guarantees. They left feeling his primary concern on this issue was the unity of the Conservative Party.
The Tories have not maintained that unity – Theresa May is likely to be torn apart like a fox set upon by a pack of hounds. But the potential ‘fix’ is there for all to see – staying in the single market would satisfy our cultural elites (the Thornberrys and Starmers of this world) and the Conservative centre. It would mean the European Union still determines what we can do, and cannot do, in huge swathes of our political and economic lives.
That is not what we voted for on 23 June 2016. The question is how do we stop the will of the people being subverted in this way?