Article 50 and Brexit: Are Estragon and Vladimir on the move?
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13th July 2016
ESTRAGON: Well, shall we Leave?
VLADIMIR: Yes, let's Leave.
(They do not send the Article 50 Notification.)
— David Allen Green (@DavidAllenGreen) June 25, 2016
What can we make of the cabinet appointments this evening of Boris Johnson, Liam Fox, and David Davis?
Do the appointments mean Brexit is more likely or less likely?
Are they the Three Musketeers – Three Brexiteers – or are they the Three Stooges?
Of the three appointments, the one which should worry Remainers is that of David Davis. It is a serious appointment. He was an outstanding Chair of the main Commons watchdog committee, the Public Accounts Committee, and a competent Europe minister. He is not a politician to underestimate.
That said: there is the irony that, because of his genuine civil liberties concerns, he is currently suing the UK government at the European Court of Justice so as to enforce EU law. Not the most appropriate thing a Brexit minister should be doing, one may say.
But what difference will the appointment make?
On the day of the referendum result, I contended that the longer the delay, the less likely the UK would send the Article 50 notification.
This is not because of any lack of political will: it is because of the sheer policy and legal challenges of Brexit are such that delay will invariably mean events and excuses will come into play.
I still hold that view – but the appointment of a serious player like Davis does prompt a slight wobble. If there is any Brexit politician who can do it, it would be him.
Estragon and Vladimir are still not getting up, but one could detect a twitch this evening.
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