No More Brexit Bluffing

Further, it is the particular type of manoeuvring and duplicity around Brexit that should cause us the gravest concern. The Hard Brexit rhetoric of Johnson and May, post referendum, is so stark and fervent that it sets a fearful tone domestically and is also felt around the capitals of Europe, driving a psychological wedge between Leavers and Remainers in the UK, but also between the UK and its European partners. But worse than this – much worse – is the fact that the politicians espousing this rhetoric now appear not to believe it, which undermines further an already tottering political class.

Politicians who occupy high office should set examples of decency and honesty, should lead by example: this kind of political manoeuvring of May and Johnson is categorically not the example we need, and further damages the reputation of politics and politicians in an age when trust in our political system is already so low. We can, and should, demand more of our leading politicians, demand that they set the tone of the entire political class; as the US election campaign vividly shows, we should start making that demand sooner rather than later.

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