We will leave the EU in a few weeks. But it’s far from clear what kind of relationship with the bloc an emboldened PM will seek
Well it is truly remarkable. Not so much the result of the election, which is surprising enough. But, rather, the fact that following the “Brexit election”, one in which traditional party loyalties seem to have been stretched to breaking point by the leave-remain divide, we emerge not knowing what kind of Brexit the prime minister intends to deliver.
In the short term, there is now no doubt that he will be able to “get Brexit done” in the sense of taking the UK out of the EU by the end of January. And no, that does not mean that Brexit will, in fact, be done (on which more in a minute) in a practical sense. But it may – may – be possible for the government to give the impression that it is in a politically persuasive way.
Departure itself will be a seismic event. Any government worth its salt will be able to trumpet that achievement as fulfilling the will of the British people. Thereafter, to maintain the illusion of completion, the task will be twofold. To keep the debate over relations with the Europeans as boring and technical as possible, and to launch a number of eye-catching policy initiatives that will give the impression that we have finally moved on.