A bad deal but with no alternative
IT has been a long time coming but today – at last – the UK and EU will sign off on a Brexit deal.
It is not a good deal. It is a bad one. And Theresa May will now sell it to the nation as a bad deal being better than none at all.
Which turns on its head her earlier promise that no deal was better than a bad deal.
We all now know that would be a catastrophe. But it just shows what a hopeless mess Mrs May has got herself in since we voted to leave the EU 29 months ago.
If you were buying a house the last person you would want to negotiate the sale is the Prime Minister.
Yet her bad deal is the only offer on the table. And it is not in the national interest for those such as Boris Johnson to wreck this just for the hell of it.
Nor do we appreciate attempts to throw a Spaniard in the works. Spain’s PM Pedro Sanchez was rightly ticked off by EU leaders for risking today’s summit by cynically playing the Gibraltar card at a critical moment.
Whatever the failings of the final plan Mrs May negotiated, no one has come up with a better alternative.
Neither Norway’s single market access nor Canada’s free trade arrangement cut the mustard over the Irish border, which this newspaper has long said can only be kept open in a UK-wide customs union.
Next month MPs must vote to accept or reject what Mrs May and 27 other EU leaders have agreed.
They must think long and hard of the chaos they will cause if they bin this plan without a replacement.
Mrs May is now going over their heads to appeal to the nation for our support.
She will find that what we want from her and all our elected representatives is just one thing. To damn well get on with it.