Brexit madness sees EU being blamed for all UK’s problems

Febrile doesn’t begin to describe it. The two dominant political parties are beginning to rupture, Brexit is just over a month away and the economy shows signs of having hit a wall.

We are used to everything being blamed for Brexit, now everything is being blamed on Brexit. Just when we thought it couldn’t get any weirder, a prominent ex-Tory MP describes Theresa May as the “Death Star of UK politics” and a noted cleric says a no-deal Brexit is necessary for both the restoration of family values and to end the destruction of communities.

With just over 30 days to go, we still don’t know much about Brexit. If you thought things were bad, it’s important to realise that the current row about the backstop, even if it is resolved, is barely the beginning of Brexit, let alone its resolution.

If we know little about the manner of the UK’s leaving, we know nothing about Britain’s future relationship with the EU. All we know for sure is that as a strict matter of law, the UK leaves the EU next month.

Something dramatic will have to happen to stop that. All else is speculation, including the precise manner, if not the timing, of that departure. If that’s not a description of crippling uncertainty, not least for the economy, I don’t know what is.

What has Brexit got to do with family and community? Apparently, it’s about freedom of movement: if we were less free to travel, particularly, between countries, we would be more likely to stay close to home and look after our ageing parents.

If we were to suspend disbelief and think about this more than necessary, for a second or two anyway, we might concede that ties to locality have been broken by the disappearance of manufacturing jobs in deprived regions. The argument must then be that the EU is to be blamed for loss of coal mining, shipbuilding, steel and car factories. We can respond by pointing out that “de-industrialisation” is a term coined years before Britain joined the EU, but that would be to engage a debate that is lost before it has begun.