Keep calm and carry on

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Chris Webster argues that the funny thing about all this dithering over Brexit is that in a thousand years time, none of it will matter a jot anyway.

Now let’s not throw our toys out the pram. There’s a degree of schadenfreude in some coverage of the news that contingencies are in place for a no-deal Brexit scenario. We were told by prominent Brexiteers – Mr Farage among them – that Britain would be in a position of strength when it came to negotiating its rift with Brussels, but events seem to have proved otherwise.And concerns are that this delights some of those still vehemently opposed to the outcome of 2016’s referendum. To remainers, that negotiations have been protracted and that Britain has been met with the ire of the European powers – particularly France and Germany – bears out the narrative that the British public was lied to: that it underestimated the complexity and cost of departing from the common market. Ha. One might argue. We told you so.

This line of thinking is to be resisted.

Let’s remember firstly that as a nation, we tend to veer firmly towards pessimism than optimism. To that end, hysterical headlines declaring that Britain is edging inexorably towards the “crash-out” scenario, complete with apocalyptic markets and eight-mile lines of freight at Calais and Dublin may well prove to be as accurate as divinations about the Millennium Bug.Would Britain survive such an eventuality? Yes. Did a small majority of people vote for that very thing – a complete severing of ties with the EU and all of its bureaucracy?

Yes, I think they did.

So irrespective of whether or not last week’s release of the government’s contingency plans for the hardest of hard Brexits represents a genuine attempt at outlining forward-looking legislation or,as Labour’s shadow Brexit secretary Keir Starmer proposed, rather “a poorly executed PR stunt” to shore up Tory support for the Chequer’s deal,let’s remember that whatever the final outcome – it’ll probably be alright on the night. Things will be worked out. The trains will still run – badly. Businesses will still open. Armageddon this is not.

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