What we don’t talk about when we only talk about Brexit

One of Brexit’s more pernicious aspects, even before you get to its actual flaws, is its tendency to suck all available oxygen unto itself, to drain resources that might otherwise have gone elsewhere. Before the referendum, civil servants warned that such a task – untangling 40 years of legal agreements, ripping out a delicate web of connections that had become embedded – would consume all their energies. Naturally, their warnings were dismissed as Project Fear. But even the head of Vote Leave, Dominic Cummings, before he took on the form of Benedict Cumberbatch, conceded via Twitter that leaving the European Union would present the British state with the “hardest job since beating Nazis”.

Disaster looms. Can anti-Brexit MPs unite quickly enough to save us?

The iceberg is approaching and now the scramble for the lifeboats begins. The iceberg in question is the catastrophe of a no-deal crashout from the European Union, its contours and texture becoming ever sharper as 29 March gets closer. For now, most MPs are vehement in their insistence that they dislike the iceberg very much, and that they are passionately opposed to sailing right into it. But the law is clear: Britain leaves the EU on that date unless another law is passed to change course. In other words, standing on the deck shouting at the berg will not help. MPs have to agree a plan to get out of the way – and they have to do it very soon.