The foreign secretary’s much-anticipated speech was short on detail, but it made it clear we’re heading for a harsh future
For all the hype, the long-awaited Brexit speech that Boris Johnson delivered today amounted to no more than, in his words, another inverted pyramid of piffle. What we, the people, were hoping for – yearning for, in fact, and certainly had every right to expect – was his Valentine’s Day message to be the moment he finally came clean about Brexit. We’ve had the snake-oil salesman’s patter. What the country urgently needs are the mechanics: we want to know precisely how this Brexit flat pack you have talked us into buying at great cost is actually going to be assembled.
For a start, he needed to address the worst-case scenario: what would happen if we botched this thing’s construction. He needed to spell out that no deal in the talks with the EU would mean no transitional period – and that would mean, certainly in the short term, a run on the pound, businesses exiting and the likelihood of unemployment rising sharply.