The fact that UK businesses are against Brexit is hardly surprising:
Business leaders are to demand that ministers agree an indefinite delay in Britain’s departure from the European single market and customs union to give more time for talks on a long-term trade deal.
In a dramatic escalation of the battle to soften the government’s Brexit strategy, groups representing thousands of UK employers aim to present a united front during a summit at Chevening country house hosted by the Brexit secretary, David Davis.
Such a comprehensive transition phase would almost certainly require temporary adherence to EU rules on freedom of movement, accepting jurisdiction of the European court of justice and a ban on implementing trade deals elsewhere. But Brussels officials are likely to also demand an agreement in principle on the shape of the eventual EU trade deal, which could lead to such concessions becoming permanent. …
Rather more suprising is that some Brexit cheerleaders are changing their tune:
…now there is a suggestion that even the mastermind of the leave campaign is having his doubts.
It came in a Twitter exchange between Dominic Cummings, who as director of Vote Leave was the man behind the £350m-for-the-NHS slogan on the side of the bus, and the legal commentator David Allen Green. Cummings wrote that he feared that unless pro-leave MPs asserted themselves, forcing management changes on both Downing Street and David Davis’s Brexit department, the Brexit talks with the EU would be a “guaranteed debacle.” Green then asked Cummings, “Is there anything which could now happen (or not happen) which would make you now wish leave had not won the referendum result?” The arch-Brexiteer’s reply was swift and arresting: “Lots! I said before REF was dumb idea, other things shdve been tried 1st. In some possible branches of the future leaving will be an error.”
Now, to be fair, Cummings was not saying that leaving the EU is bound to be a disaster: rather, that failure is just one possible future. (I think he was using the word “branches” in the sense of a decision tree, which envisages a series of possible choices and their consequences.) Earlier in the exchange, he explained his view that Brexit alone, while necessary, was not sufficient. For leaving the EU to work, there would also have to be wholesale reform of Whitehall, British education, science and productivity.
But even in that context, it’s still a striking statement, given who’s making it. The man who led the drive to pull Britain out of the EU is admitting that it may well not work. Indeed, given how unlikely it is that the entire British system of governance can be transformed in the way Cummings says is necessary, it’s fair to say that, on Cummings’ own logic, failure is more probable than success. …
And the tide of public opinion:
The outcome of the Brexit referendum would be reversed if it was held tomorrow, a poll suggests.
The Survation survey showed a clear majority of Britons (54 per cent) would vote to Remain in the European Union if another referendum was held, while 46 per cent would back Brexit. …
Do the tories have what it takes to turn back from their self-destructive path?