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The Tories have squandered Brexit

Pietro Recchia/Getty

“The odds of the UK ever getting Brexit done are now approaching zero,” says Wolfgang Münchau in EuroIntelligence. For leaving the EU to be worth it, Britain would have needed “a strategy based on innovation”, with regulations around data protection, financial services and technology torn up and rewritten. But “distracted by a pandemic and a war, the Tories ended up squandering their mandate”. Boris Johnson didn’t pay much attention to the issue, “because he was Boris”, and Liz Truss self-immolated before she’d had a chance.

It means the much-heralded “Brexit transformation” of Britain’s economy will probably never happen. The decision to leave the EU will eventually “be reversed in substance” under a Keir Starmer government – not necessarily by the UK rejoining, but by returning to the bloc’s single market. And why not, given the Tories never bothered to move the country out of “EU membership mode”? I reckon we’re only “two elections away” from this happening – by which point most people “will have forgotten why they left the EU in the first place”.