3rd February 2020
Today – Monday – is the first working day since the United Kingdom departed the European Union.
Since Friday, when the departure took effect, there have been some expressions of glee from Brexiter politicians about the lack of any immediate adverse effect.
Here is Daniel Hannan, a former Member of the European Parliament.
One day in and so far:— Daniel Hannan (@DanielJHannan) February 1, 2020
❌No food riots
❌No medicine shortages
❌No gridlocked motorways
❌No migrant camps in Kent
❌No collapse in house prices
❌No emergency tax rises
❌No world war
Weren't we told that "It's not Project Fear, it's Project Reality"?
As of today his tweet has been retweeted 3,400 times and liked 16,100 times.
And here is Douglas Carswell, a former Member of Parliament at Westminster.
I see the ‘planes are still flying. Local supermarket still full of food. Restaurants in post-Brexit London still packed on a Saturday night. Do you suppose the doom-mongers who said Leaving the EU would bring ruin are feeling just a little foolish?— Douglas Carswell (@DouglasCarswell) February 1, 2020
Hannan and Carswell have long been a political double-act.
Their extended pamphlet The Plan of 2008 is probably the most significant publication from the Right in the last fifteen years, pointing out directions in which United Kingdom politics then went.
And both have long been sincere and focused opponents of the United Kingdom being in the European Union, with Carswell even giving up his Conservative seat and daring to fight (and winning) a by-election for UKIP.
Both are intelligent and know the details of how Brexit has finally happened.
So these tweets come as a disappointment.
Both Hannan and Carswell know why the various events they describe have not come to pass.
There has been little practical change because the United Kingdom and the European Union entered into a Withdrawal Agreement which provided for transitional arrangements that will continue until (at least) 31st December 2020.
The warnings about “No Deal” Brexit were about just that: what would happen if there was no exit deal.
But there was a Brexit deal.
Hannan, as a departing Member of the European Parliament, voted for the withdrawal agreement on 29th January (see page 10 here).
Carswell spent the days around the United Kingdom parliament approving the withdrawal agreement boasting of how similar the withdrawal legislation was to an earlier effort of his own.
It is not that both should know better: both know exactly what the withdrawal agreement provides for.
They both know that the reason the things in their tweets have not happened is because of the withdrawal arrangements.
Yet both tweeted otherwise, presumably because the RTs and likes and the sheer fun of triggering opponents is worth more than being intellectually honest.
But the sight is of two politicians flapping their arms as they jump off some platform, shouting “look, we can fly, we can fly, look this is so easy”.
While anyone who cares can see the hidden wiring holding them in the air.
That hidden wiring may not always be there.
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