Britain has to decide what Brexit means – right now

Britain has to decide what Brexit means – right now, by Robert Colvile.

There are two competing visions.

One is, effectively, no Brexit: or rather, something that calls itself Brexit but is as close as humanly possible to the existing arrangements. Above all, it means continued access to European markets on current terms, even if that involves accepting free movement (with cosmetic restrictions) and continued payments to the European budget.

The other, normally called hard Brexit, is actually just Brexit. Britain would gain control of its borders and laws, and be able to strike trade deals with other countries, even if it would retain the closest possible ties to Europe – and might accept some (or much) EU regulation, or continue to pay for some of its projects.

Rhetorically, both of these end up in much the same place. But their essentials are very different. One starts with In, and moves Out. The other starts with Out, and moves In. That is why their “fail states” are very different too. The first is the status quo, but worse. The second is crashing out into a brave and uncertain new world.

hat-tip Matthew