Politics

Extend the Brexit transition? It’s just another non-starter | Gina Miller

The latest cabinet leak shows how delusional this government still is. Theresa May wants to play the long game, but it’s patently clear she’s losing

The late Malcolm Muggeridge called his memoirs Chronicles of Wasted Time. This title could work just as well as a description of Britain’s preparations for exiting the European Union. No doubt to Theresa May’s utter exasperation, the latest chronicle we hear from her unhappy cabinet is that the two customs union options that were being discussed – the customs partnership and the maximum facilitation scheme – have both been ditched. The new wheeze is a piecemeal approach, to extend some customs rules beyond the transitional period cut-off date of December 2020.

It is hard not to let out an anguished scream at this news. The first thing to be said is that the EU had already rejected the two options being contemplated, so the Brexit head-bangers have simply wasted nearly a month – of the precious seven months available to them for these negotiations – on what were non-starters from the outset.

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