BRITAIN is shrinking almost by the hour as the Minister for Brexit admitted there wasn’t a plan for Brexit, and Stephen Crabb scuttled out of the Tory kingpin contest allowing Theresa May to sink her claws deeper into Downing Street.
A wild Wednesday has seen sterling suffer a similar fate to the fateful post-referendum Friday, plummeting once again to its lowest ebb in more than three decades.
As the pound sunk as deep as $1.2798 the Brexit virus spread to commodity markets, dragging down oil prices and brent crude futures, while yields on US treasuries struck thirty year lows.
In such dire circumstances it might be helpful to have a plan, some kind of political or economic strategy, perhaps conceived by government ministers and civil servants who have theoretically been running the country for years.
Not so, said Oliver Letwin, the smarmy member for West Dorset appointed by the prime minister to oversee Britain’s imaginary exit strategy from Europe.
Letwin has raised the stakes on Chancellor George Osborne’s jolly claim that planning for Brexit wasn’t his responsibility, by confirming that there is no plan whatsoever…zilch, nada, pull your socks up and pray that your Panama account hasn’t been raided by the mistress.
Never one to rain on a parade, Letwin did reveal cause for optimism with the parody-proof claim that a “fine-grained, multi-dimensional” options paper will be on the new prime minister’s desk by the time she settles in, presumably not a bowl of porridge, and probably on September 9, unless Gorgeous Gove has another trick up his sleeve.
The Boris-slayer has insisted that he will continue contesting the Tory leadership despite the crab and fox skulking out. Five became three and Gove is now firmly in third place, seemingly surprised that his “optimistic message” has been greeted with nausea and psychological disinfectant.
That leaves Leadsom and May battling it out for Tory supremacy, with the Home Secretary fighting on her top-level experience, while her challenger from the banking world claims to be the true Brexit candidate.
May has come under fire for refusing to confirm the rights of EU nationals resident in the UK to stay in the country, concomitantly casting doubt on the future prospects of British national residing in other EU countries.
It will, however, be their competing exit strategies from Europe that determines which lady will receive the most support from their fellow MP’s. Leadsom, who predicted the pound would not be affected whatsoever by Brexit, favours a quick, clean break, while May, who tepidly backed the Remain campaign, has called for a more cautious approach.
Unfortunately history tells us that when Britain ‘exits’ it usually leaves a huge wasteland of war and destruction in its wake. The Chilcot report to be released later today will hopefully serve as some reminder that secret decisions made in small halls can have devastating consequences.