The Economist argues that the debate over Brexit has so far been more about process than about substance. In 2017 that will change—and the going may get tougher. But the Economist concludes that at least some common sense is beginning to emerge.
As a keen follower of Brexit news I agree that common sense might be beginning to emerge. But the thing to really watch is compromise – of course, it’s too early to talk about such tactics because the negotiations proper have not yet started.
Also the context has changed. The terrorist incident in Berlin will strengthen the case for immigration controls – people are fearful of governments who open their arms to potential terrorists. Similarly, nationalism is on the rise in France, with Marine le Pen now a serious candidate for presidency. Meanwhile, in the UK, the Labour Party is imploding and rapidly losing power, leaving Theresa May‘s government with a stronger position in parliament than the simple majority infers. But the UK is a deeply divided society and May will need to be cautious of a populist push-back against unpopular policies.
Although I voted ‘Remain’, I am a realist, so am beginning to bond again with Brexit supporting friends.