Is Britain really about to embrace chaos and misery for the sake of Brexit dogma? | Will Hutton


No sane government would contemplate a future without a proper deal with the EU

British business and finance are holding their breath. Few can quite believe that a British government could drive the British economy this close to the brink. Surely no sane government, entrusted with our collective wellbeing, could calmly contemplate imposing on its citizens immense trade disruption, transport chaos, shortages in medicine, fresh foods and key technologies? Then there’s the rise in unemployment created by two lockdowns and widespread bankruptcies. Even a minimalist deal, as John Major said last week, will be far more brutal than anyone expects.

Yet for what? A utopian conception of sovereignty that even in the full flush of empire never held true? Surely rationality must prevail and a deal that goes well beyond the skinny Canada-style deal with the EU – which Boris Johnson says is all he wants – will be struck?

Related: Downing Street denies internal crisis has harmed Brexit talks

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