Charles Grant on Brexit and Populism

Arch-Remainer Charles Grant on Brexit and populism…

“I certainly hope that EU governments do not conflate Brexit and populism. Though there is a link, many Leave voters were middle-of-the-road, moderate, educated people who (mistakenly, in my view) failed to appreciate the benefits of EU membership.”

Remainers Finally Realising They Can’t Stop Brexit

Are Remainers finally starting to get it? Guido has spotted three in the last week coming out and saying Brexit won’t be stopped. First Wolfgang Munchau wrote in the FT:

“The probability of a reversal is not technically zero, but close enough to be discarded. The probability of a Brexit without a deal is also not large, but much higher than the probability of a successful revocation. The best strategy for smart Remainers is stop the second referendum fantasies and to focus on the period after Brexit. This is when the debate on the future relationship will get truly interesting.”

Then his colleague at the pink ‘un David Allen Green yesterday conceded: The three legal paths to stop Brexit are blocked”

“there seems no serious possibility of such a dramatic reversal. The “mandate” of the referendum will remain, and those who still dispute that there is a mandate are akin to the generals who keep fighting the battles of a previous war.”

The Centre for European Reform’s Charles Grant agrees:

It’s only the cranks still saying Brexit can be reversed…

Mogg: Either Hammond or Treasury Officials Trying to Frustrate Brexit

The Mogg has a point here. As Guido pointed out yesterday, Charles Grant of the Centre for European Reform did say that the Treasury is trying to bounce the government into a softer Brexit. That is either a breach of Hammond’s collective responsibility or the civil service’s duty to implement government policy. Isn’t that the more important story?

Charles Grant DID Say Treasury Pushing Government Towards Softer Brexit

The big row today is over whether the Centre for European Reform’s Charles Grant did or didn’t tell Steve Baker that the Treasury was deliberately trying to change Brexit policy and keep us in the customs union. Baker says he did. Grant says in a statement:

“I did not say or imply that the Treasury had deliberately developed a model to show that all non-customs union options were bad, with the intention to influence policy.”

Fair enough. But it turns out Grant did say the Treasury was trying to influence policy by forcing the government into a softer Brexit. Publicly, in July:

Charles Grant, director of the Centre for European Reform… revealed the existence of an unpublished Treasury analysis showing that the costs of leaving without a customs union deal far outweigh any benefits from future overseas trade deals.

“The coalition of forces pushing for a softer Brexit is considerable,” Grant said. “The Treasury, long an advocate of retaining close economic ties to the EU, is newly emboldened.”

Does anyone really think the Treasury doesn’t want a softer Brexit?

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